What’s Wrong with the Music Model

March 2009
by David P. Leach

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What’s Wrong with the Music Model

by David P. Leach

With the successful relaunch of Amazon’s Kindle—the latest and greatest of the digital readers—it’s clear that publishers and booksellers are intent on getting on the digital bandwagon pioneered by the music industry. In 2005, Michael Hyatt, CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers (and my boss), correctly prophesied on his blog that while traditional paper books wouldn’t disappear, the advent of digital technologies would dramatically change the publishing business—as it had the music business—and said that we all needed to prepare.

As a bell cow, music works. Here in Nashville, for instance, rarely a day goes by that our local paper doesn’t publish a piece on the effects of downloading on the music industry, for good or ill. As Nashville publishers, we can’t ignore the similarities between the music industry and ours.

And, of course, similarities abound. Both industries deal in intellectual properties; both face challenges at retail because of the rapid transition to digital; both face illegal downloading threats; both possess a glut of product that retailers can’t market.

But for all the similarities between the digital technologies of books and music, the ultimate future of book publishing depen…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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