Why The eBook Industry Needs More Piracy
from the push-the-market-forward dept
Bobbie Johnson, over at the Guardian, does an excellent job of explaining why ebooks really haven’t taken off yet: there’s just not enough piracy going on. With the launch of the second generation of Amazon’s Kindle ebook reader, we’re getting another round of stories about ebooks. They’ve done marginally better recently, but the Kindle is hardly making strides that match with the iPod — a device to which it’s frequently compared.
Johnson points out that (as we’ve seen elsewhere), piracy is often a leading indicator of what consumers are doing with new technologies. It’s a great way to find out what people actually want, and then you can build around that. That’s what made the iPod (and eventually iTunes) successful. But the Kindle doesn’t have that going for it. Instead of trying to dive into a new market that’s already happening, it’s trying to drag the market along — creating the space as it goes. That’s a much more difficult sell. It doesn’t mean that ebooks can’t or won’t become a much bigger deal. But it suggests that the market is quite different, and won’t develop nearly as quickly.