Sony Ebook Boss: DRM Needs To Stay And Ebooks Should Cost More Than $10
from the good-luck-there dept
PaidContent has the details on an interview with Steve Haber, the boss of Sony’s ebook reader business, where he trashed the $10 ebook and praised DRM. And now you all know why no one buys Sony ebook readers. Basically, the product’s boss has decided to take an anti-consumer stance. Why would anyone want to shell out hundreds of dollars on a product when you know the company that makes it wants to screw you over?
On the price of ebooks — a topic of widespread debate — he insists that $10 can’t possibly work:
“The $9.99 price point is not a money-maker. Certain bestsellers are sold at that price for retail, competitive reasons. But you need to have a range. You could go from $10 to $20 even to $100 for an e-book. There’s no sweet spot and it’s certainly not $9.99.”
Well, first, let’s be clear. The only reason that $9.99 isn’t a money-maker is because publishers are still charging more at wholesale for the ebooks, still pretending that the lack of printing, materials and shipping shouldn’t result in a lower price. Basically, the publishers are in denial, and Sony shouldn’t be supporting them.
How about DRM? Remember, this is Sony, we’re talking about, which has a history of abusing DRM against consumers. It’s also the same Sony who keeps having its top execs claim that DRM holds up innovation and that open solutions win in competitive markets. And then they release their next DRM’ed/closed offering. So, how does Haber explain his love of DRM?
“You need an orderly process to sell books and DRM makes that possible, mainly because it allows content creators and distributors to make money from that content.”
Huh?!? What does DRM have to do with making money from content? Absolutely nothing. iTunes sells a lot of music — and it’s all DRM free (finally). You don’t need DRM to make money from content. You don’t need DRM to have an “orderly process” to sell things. You only need DRM to limit what consumers can do, limiting the value of the content, making it less valuable to pay for.
It seems that the only thing keeping Sony in this business is the fact that the competition is basically just as bad on these issues, but one of these days someone’s going to figure this out — but it doesn’t sound like it will be Sony.