Last night, I attended an event at TechHub, an East London hub dedicated to supporting the start-up community in London. The event, Publishing for Tablets and Monetizing Content – How to Marry the Two?, brought up some interesting issues regarding the digitization of content. If you’re creating a game, how do you price it? Where is the publishing communiting going now that consumers can easily access free content? Will bookstores disappear? As a proud owner of the first addition Kindle, I’ve had some experience with tablets, but I found that this talk opened up a whole new tablet world to me. Since eBooks are still in their infancy, there is debate over how to display content, the user experience and, most importantly, how to price an app. Consumers are rapidly adopting tablets and e-readers – in fact, recent research by Apple suggests that tablets are now outselling PCs. What does this trend suggest? Marketing strategies need to shift from a desk-based PC consumer to an anywhere, any time tablet user. Marketing in the digital age As Eric Huang, Publishing Director for Media and Entertainment at Penguin, pointed out, the old rules don’t necessarily apply for marketing apps. If you’re trying to sell online content, then you have to market to an online audience. As Penguin found out, print advertising offered next to nothing in added sales because the customer had to go through too many steps to purchase the ad. The best way to market a new app is to appeal to the two most important digital communities: the bloggers and the Apple App Store. Of course, traditional marketing tactics for digital content do help, but then you’re competing with a wider community. How to price an app? Pricing seems to be one of the biggest issues for monetizing tablet content. Glynn Hayward, Creative Director of Complete Control, gave simple advice for companies wanting to sell their apps: get paid upfront. Too often, app developers are offered different ways of getting paid such as through royalties. In an increasingly competitive market, many companies are struggling to price their apps. Some apps are selling for $0.99 and once Apple takes its 30% cut, this doesn’t leave very much for the developer. Buying or renting digital content? Have you ever wanted to try a book before you buy it? Have you gone on vacation and only wanted to read a book once just once, without owning it? Mawuli Ladzepko from Express Reads, is offering a service that lets you rent a book on your eBook. Renting an eBook brings up interesting issues about intellectual property. Will publishers give up their rights to a book? Is there a limited number of eBooks that can be released at one time? These issues suggest that the rules governing traditional publishing don’t necessarily transfer into the digital realm. Perhaps we will see these traditions disappear as e-readers dominate publishing? As this TechHub event suggests, the eBook debate is far from over. If you’re looking to transfer your products online or want to build an app, submit a brief and get started!
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