Roger Tagholm at Publishing Perspectives just published a nice review of the World eReading Congress in London, on Tuesday, where I had the pleasure of doing the opening keynote. The 6MB low-res PDF can be downloaded via this link: Download Ereading congress london gerd Leonhard (note: this is quick version, better resolution soon on Slideshare).
Here are the best snippets from Roger's review (and the rest of it is a good overview, as well!)
By Roger Tagholm
"Access not ownership, relationships not transactions and concerns over who owns the channel to market – these were some of the themes of the second World E-Reading Congress which began in London on Monday. Once again, organizers Terrapin had assembled a powerful line-up of speakers who provided a one-stop take on what is happening in the digital space. From “haptic technology” (from the Greek Haptikos, “pertaining to the sense of touch”) to “lean back” readers, this was also the place to get a jargon update and phrase fix.
The View from a Futurist
Media Futurist Gerd Leonhard kicked things off. He believes the debate will soon be about access, not ownership and said that “for those over 30 it’s very hard to understand this switch. There will be some ownership, but it won’t grow. With music, iTunes sales are flat, but streaming is growing. It will happen with books. A Spotify for books will come. If a student wants 300 books, he’ll buy a three-year subscription”. Small examples of that already exist, but Leonhard means on a mass scale, such as that being contemplated in Brazil “where the government is looking to buy 100 million devices for students so they don’t have to buy the physical books”.
He believes there is more to the future than walled gardens and that “humans need meaning, not just cool technology. In the end, meaning is money. Apple has meaning, even though it is a totally walled garden — an oligopoly, a cult.” During the next three to five years he thinks we will see telemedia convergence. “The telecoms industry will realize that it will have to make deals with ISP operators to sell content — so that if you buy this SIM card, for example, you can get ten books.
“For the consumer, access to content will become much cheaper. We cannot force the consumer to pay the same for digital as physical. Technology owners reads more, so why penalize them? We need to innovate now to keep them.”
Sharing, he maintained, should be “non-negotiable. Sharing does not create economic damage.” Publishers must engage with their customers; attitudes to piracy must be rethought (“piracy happens when motivation meets opportunity”); and publishers must build value around content “because payment works if the context is right — if there is a reason, people will pay.”
Added note: "Duncan Edwards, President and CEO of Hearst Magazines International, took an entirely different view on pricing. “We have discovered that, because of the ease of use, people are prepared to pay as much — or even more — for the digital versions of our magazines.”
Really? Not sure that maybe that have just discovered their own desire to get as much as before, and found some willing fans - rest assured, this won't last. Look at iTunes and the music industry:) People will not continue to buy songs for €1 every time they are interested. Unsustainable, imho:=)