BISG study: A buffet of digital book subscriptions

Image - iStockphoto: jxfzsy
Image – iStockphoto: jxfzsy

The shape-shifting factor in publishing: Subscriptions

With almost the timing that Amazon Prime promises its members, the Book Industry Study Group (BISG) has arrived to deepen the debate about subscriptions and their potential in publishing.

Only days after Seattle launched its Kindle Unlimited subscription program — quickly pulling up alongside Oyster and Scribd (pronounced “Scribbed”) as one of the most-debated elements of the topic — BISG’s Digital Books and the New Subscription Economy with a message that sounds a bit like the voice of the digital disruption, itself.

While we are still in the early days, our findings suggest that most book publishers will accept that subscription businesses are an inevitable part of the transformation from print to digital book publishing.

If anything, three forces seem to converge in the pages of this 86-page report, culminating in a deep sea both of potential and concern for publishing:

  • Inevitability
  • Change
  • Consumer preference
Ted Hill
Ted Hill

“The big point in the study,” says Ted Hill, “is that these models — whether you call them subscriptions or not — have been around in various parts of the publishing industry for a while. And they’re growing. And they’re not going anywhere.”

Hill of THA Consulting and Kate Lara of Publishers Communication Group were the main writers on the study for BISG. In an interview with The Bookseller’s The FutureBook, Hill points to a kind of effort at rationalization that can distract from what he sees as the real prevalence of subscriptions — already — in the industry.

Join us each Friday for a #FutureChat session with The Bookseller’s FutureBook community. We’ll be live on Twitter, at 4 p.m. London time, 11 a.m. New York time, 8 a.m. Los Angeles, 5 p.m. Berlin, 3 p.m. GMT. 

By Porter Ander­son | @Porter_Anderson

The FutureBook: BISG study: A buffet of digital book subscriptions

Read the full post at: The Bookseller’s The FutureBook



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