A month after acquiring Scholastic’s ed-tech business for $575 million, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt pushes ahead in the space by launching a web portal for developers.
Through the portal, external designers and developers can access the company’s application programming interfaces, or APIs, allowing them to build new products and solutions inside the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt ecosystem.
The move is not only aimed at streamlining the experience for end-users of the publisher’s digital learning projects, it’s also a bid to make Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s the go-to platform for developers driving innovation in ed-tech.
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Brave, New, Hard to Monetize World (Pub Perspectives)
Publishing veteran Richard Nash (formerly of Byliner, whose owner as of last year, Vook, rebranded this week) says the democratization of publishing is bound to continue, throwing the industry’s business models into question: “It’s hard to see large amounts of revenue coming from digital downloads.” On the other hand, he predicts, “we will start to see revenue streams from the writer-reader relationship.”
Related: Why More Disruption Awaits Publishers
Eight Focal Points for Digital Publishing (The Shatzkin Files)
Gearing up for next year’s Digital Book World 2016, Conference Chair Mike Shatzkin runs through eight key areas publishers might want to double down on given the current shape of the digital market, among them ebook pricing approaches and direct knowledge about their readers.
Penguin Random House UK Strikes Deal with BBC Audio (The Bookseller)
A new agreement between the publisher and BBC Worldwide extends an earlier audiobook distribution deal, now making Penguin Random House UK the global publisher charge of the BBC’s complete line of physical and digital audiobook titles.
Related: Audiobooks Grow Among and Beyond Ebook Readers
OverDrive Launches Audiobook Web App (Ink, Bits & Pixels)
The library distributor rolls out an audiobook streaming platform that operates through web browsers, allowing library patrons that borrow digital audio titles through their libraries to stream them online.
Does Audible Need a Strong Competitor? (Inside Higher Ed)
Pointing out that the digital rights management (DRM) systems preventing ebook buyers from ever truly “owning” most of their titles dominate the digital audiobook world as well, one observer argues that the Amazon-owned Audible could use a viable competitor as the audio market grows. Maybe so, but that wouldn’t necessarily answer the DRM question.
Why Amazon Needn’t Fear Google’s ‘Buy’ Buttons (TheStreet)
Since the ‘buy’ buttons Google will soon add to sponsor-paid search results on mobile devices will be limited to two such listings per results page, the program may not pack as much punch as some have already wagered it might, at least when it comes to facing off with Amazon.
Related: What Google’s ‘Buy’ Feature Hints at for Publishers
Book Discovery on the Internet of Things (The Scholarly Kitchen)
In a nutshell, no one know exactly what that will look like. But industry veteran Joseph Esposito points out that as publishers straddle print-era book discovery approaches (centered around brand reputation, among other things) and digital ones simultaneously, they’ll soon need to plant new legs in emerging paradigms, all without falling off balance.
Related: Book Discovery Efforts Differ on Means
Amazon Far Ahead in Cloud Race (Forbes)
As one analyst tells it, Amazon Web Services dominates its chief competitors, including Google and Microsoft, in terms of the size of its public user base and rate of growth. Pointing to recent research, he says AWS has a possibly “insurmountable lead in what is a race that is still very much in its early stages.”
Related: Amazon Launches Cloud Computing into Education Program