At present Microsoft owns 17.6% of Nook Media and Penguin owns a 5% stake. If the acquisition goes through, Microsoft would completely take over the device and content business. But then it’s proposing to shutdown the device business and focus on distributing Nook content via apps on third-party devices. A wise move insofar as neither company has had much success in the tablet space to-date.
The acquisition could help Microsoft to develop a reading ecosystem for its devices, as PaidContent points out. And it would therefore bring Microsoft more squarely into competition with Amazon and Apple.
Give the next two items a read, as they explore what will really happen if Microsoft acquires Nook and what the rumors have already done to Barnes & Noble stock.
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The rest of the day’s top news:
What if Microsoft buys Nook? (Forbes)
The $1 billion bid to buy Nook makes sense. That Microsoft would shutter the hardware business and only distribute Nook ebook via apps, doesn’t quite. One commentator advises treating your Nook as a collector’s item.
Barnes & Noble Stock Up Over 24% (NYT)
At close, shares were at $22.08. This as trading on Thursday reacted to reports that Microsoft has offered to buy Nook Media. Investors were clearly optimistic about the TechCrunch report, but notably no comment came from either Barnes & Noble or Microsoft.
Why 24symbols Partnered With Zed (DBW)
24symbols wants “to bring books to everyone, everywhere.” Fittingly, in the interest of global distribution, 24symbols has sold a 32% share to Zed. And the companies have signed an international distribution agreement as well.
African Publishers Find Consumers on Their Cell Phones (Christian Science Monitor)
Readers in some African countries already consume substantial digital content on their mobile phones. And, content providers are working to build and promote apps that will make this trend profitable.
China’s English-Language Ebook Market (Pub Perspectives)
It’s just getting started and laws ensure that sales are made in partnership with local publishers and retailers. But, publishers report that China’s English-language book market, in general, is growing.
First Digital-Only Library in the U.S. (Good E Reader)
BiblioTech will open in August, giving patrons access to 3M Discovery Terminals, computers, and the opportunity to borrow both ebooks and e-reader devices.
Malcolm Gladwell, Goodreads’ Otis Chandler to Headline IDPF Conference (DBW)
The International Digital Publishing Forum has announced its featured speakers and presenters. Chandler will discuss the recent acquisition of Goodreads by Amazon while Gladwell plans to take a broad look at “the digital future.”
Self-Published Authors See the Wisdom of Higher Ebook Prices (DBW)
DBW’s ebook best-seller list has shown that self-published titles are commonly available for between $2.99 and $3.99. The recent survey from Smashwords revealed a similar increase. Are ebook prices finally approaching a sweet spot?
Documentary Looks at The Google Books Project (TechCrunch)
The film, Google and The World Brain, skeptically explores the company’s endeavor to scan every book.
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