Key Drivers and Debates framing conditions. Such markets foster the emergence A comparative analysis of international ebook markets and, more importantly, sustenance of strong domestic shows an abundance of di erent parameters that result players, for both publishing and retail and for services in variations between the markets, of which some may and innovation. be temporary and others that most likely will persist and Examples include the emphasis on the national book remain relevant for the mid-term (three to ve years) and culture in Germany or France, with an almost unanimous the long-term ( ve to ten years). consensus in the professional book communities there The main drivers of di erentiation as identi ed in the on the value of the book and reading and, as a result, market pro les of this study include the following: calls for price regulation as well as strong defense of the their book cultures against what is de ned as “external Q Key characteristics of the existing print book market interference.” As a result, Google’s digitization projects have been confronted by coordinated legal action in Q New market entrants and new paradigms several European countries, which had (particularly in France) strong political support from government insti-Q Market parameters, including: tutions. Examples are the French-sponsored national and European digitization projects (e.g., Gallica and Q Regulatory frameworks Europeana) and the German digital distribution platform Libreka, as well as legal charges against Google. Q Pricing strategies for ebook receptiveness for Interestingly, in several of the largest continental foreign (English) reading European book markets (but not in the UK), the creation of a digital infrastructure has led to the forming of con-Q Receptiveness for foreign (English) reading sortia, of which several have managed to take up a position as either the primary or the secondary leader in Each of these sets of parameters, and combinations the digital service environment. Such is the case in thereof, will not only a ect each market’s ebook evolu- France, Germany, Spain, Italy, and Sweden. tion but will also frame the interplay of domestic and These same markets, plus most emerging economies, global factors as they encourage either globalizing or are now targeted by the few global brands (or, in the more di erentiating forces. Chinese term, “super players”) of ebook globalization, namely Amazon, Google, Apple, Kobo, and more recently, Barnes & Noble. Key Characteristics of the All of these players prepare localized versions of their Existing Print Book Market available titles, which go far beyond just the selling of The size of a book market matters. Large book markets printed and digital books, as they are backed up by such as Germany, France and also China are centers of various related services for self-publishing and print on gravity in their own right, for distinct domestic develop- demand, thereby coming in a bundle with related value ments. These markets re ect their own national cultural propositions, of which most bring book content onto traditions and identities, resulting in strong national various mobile platforms. Apple, with the iPad, iPhone, and iTunes, is integrating distribution and consumption under one umbrella. The initially Canadian—and now Japanese owned— rm Kobo has a strategy of teaming 53 : The Global eBook Market: Current Conditions & Future Projections
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