Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Frankfurt Book Fair Survey

Monday's Publishers Weekly had a really interesting article about the annual survey associated with the Frankfurt Book Fair, which will be held from October 14 to 18.

I reported on the 2007 publishers' survey here and here.

To see the questions from this year's survey, go here.

The first question sets the tone: Does the respondent regard digitization as a crisis or as an opportunity for the industry?

When asked what the biggest threats are for the media industry, over 72% of the publishers responding said Digitization: the development of new business models, new multi-media products, and new marketing strategies.

Another question asked when digital content would generate more turnover (sales) than business with traditional books? The question offered the following years as choices: 2012, 2018, 2028, 2038 or never. About half the respondents gave 2018 as the tipping point.

Publishers Weekly reports that when respondents were asked which price models for digital content offered the most long-term potential:
Charging readers a flat rate that would allow them access to all of a information provider’s online content similar to a traditional subscription model was favored by 25% of respondents, especially those from Europe. Paying for snippets of content through micropayments was favored by 23%, with that method backed the most in Great Britain and the U.S. The premium model, under which users would pay for selected online content, found support from 16% of respondents.

There were varying opinions on how e-books should be priced. Most publishers believe the price should be lower than that of the p-books although nearly 20% were unenlightened enough to believe the price should be the same for both e-books and p-books or that the e-book should be more expensive [Sweet mercy!!!]

Thirty percent (30%) of the publishers believe the e-book should be priced at 30% below the p-book price.

They're learning although my reaction is that the discount should be greater than 30%.

In 2007, 85% of the respondents were from Europe, compared to 74% this year.

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