Barnes & Noble buys out Microsoft’s 16.8% stake in Nook Media, letting the tech company out of its partnership with the retailer’s faltering ebook business.
The buyback costs Barnes & Noble $62.5 million, a figure that, according to Publishers Lunch, “implies a ‘fair market value’ of about $700 million for Barnes & Noble College and Nook combined.”
Microsoft invested $605 million in Nook in 2012, in a bid to compete with Apple and Amazon on ebooks. With Microsoft out of the picture, Barnes & Noble clears the way for a spin-off of Nook Media, with a target of August 2015.
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Why Walmart Should Buy Nook (The Street)
Nook has been faltering, but it’s still packed with assets. According to one industry watcher, that should make it an attractive prospect for the likes of Walmart, which is looking for ways to compete with Amazon, especially on the digital side.
More Weak Earnings at Barnes & Noble (Pub Lunch)
Despite some optimistic conjecturing in certain quarters, Barnes & Noble reported disappointing second quarter figures. Here’s a breakdown, plus how short they fell of expectations.
Simon & Schuster Merges Marketing and Digital Divisions (PW)
The publisher reorganizes to bring its digital and marketing groups together in order to “promote discovery of our books via all traditional and digital marketing means at our disposal,” according to CEO Carolyn Reidy. The change sees the departure of EVP, Chief Digital Officer Ellie Hirschhorn.
Of Menace and Metaphor in Amazon Debate (DBW)
Amazon has been subjected to (and has itself helped fashion) a number of zoological metaphors relating to its position in the publishing world, from hungry “cheetah” to “devouring whale.” How well any of them characterize the e-tailer depends on your perspective and whether you think Amazon’s power can be reigned in. An arguably tougher question: Should it be?
Related: Weighing Amazon’s Place in the Publishing Landscape at DBW15
Amazon Cloud Swelling (Wired)
By eliminating up-front fees for some of its best cloud computing customers, Amazon Web Services follows its competitor Google, which recently introduced a similar model. That leads some to believe Amazon’s cloud capabilities are fast becoming a force to be reckoned with.
E-Textbook Start-up Gains Steam (DBW)
The e-textbook distributor RedShelf secures its fifth partnership with a major academic publisher, after hiring a former Macmillan Higher Education exec as its chief operating officer in October.
Related: Taking the Measure of Digital Change in Higher Education Publishing at DBW15
3M Cloud Library Adds Digital Audiobooks (Zacks)
After announcing that it was developing a digital audiobook streaming platform earlier this year, the 3M Cloud Library launches an updated app featuring a 40,000-title audiobook library, plus interface improvements meant to make it easier for users to browse for content. The digital audiobook market has been heating up lately.
App Annie Launches User Data Dashboard (Venturebeat)
The new analytical tool allows publishers to access demographic and usage information from users of their mobile apps, a service geared toward helping publishers fine-tune and their content for the growing pool of mobile readers and app users.