Where the Music Industry Meets the Book Industry

September 18, 2014

I last covered the topic “What Can the Music Business Teach the Book Business?” in a November, 2011 blog post. Today, in response to a fascinating blog entry on Brian O’Leary’s site I found myself revisiting the issue, leading to a comment I posted there.

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Newspapers and the Decline in the Use of Traveller’s Cheques

I’m thinking about two very different products each apparently well on the road to oblivion.

Here’s a graph (roughly) illustrating the decline in the use of traveller’s cheques (aka “travelers checks” and several other spellings). There was tremendous growth through the mid-1990s. The drop-off is severe. Wikipedia details that “travelers cheques are no longer widely accepted and cannot easily be cashed, even at the banks that issue the cheques.”

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Bundling, Unbundling and Ebook Subscription Services

August 5, 2014

How to Succeed in Business by Bundling – and Unbundling is a thought-provoking interview with Marc Andreessen and Jim Barksdale online at the Harvard Business Review. Marc Andreessen was the co-founder of Netscape. Jim Barksdale is a veteran of IBM, FedEx and AT&T Wireless “brought on a few months after Netscape’s founding to provide adult supervision as its CEO.” Both are now tech company VC investors. Barksdale, in his early 70s, is one of those rare executives whose advice reflects a depth of experience, much longed for in this age of the “serial entrepreneur.” (more…)

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Amazon’s Fire Phone is Mainly for Amazon’s Customers

June 18, 2014

Several journalists took a small segue today in their coverage of the launch of the Amazon Fire Phone to note that Amazon’s Kindle Fire has been extinguished. Or nearly so. Based on IDC’s May report, the Kindle Fire has only 1.9% of worldwide tablet shipments, down 47% year-to-year. (more…)

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The March of the Toy Soldiers

June 1, 2014

Indigo Books and Music reported its 4th quarter and annual sales last week. A few of the news stories reached for an alarmist tone. Canada’s Financial Post headlined its account with “Indigo annual revenue falls for third consecutive year.” Publishers Weekly went for the more startling “Indigo Has Big Fiscal 2014 Loss.” (more…)

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