We read in the Telegraph that Steve Haber, president of Sony’s digital reading business division, claims, ‘Within five years there will be more digital content sold than physical content.’ Wow that’s some prediction and far greater than virtually any see elsewhere. So what does he base it on and what’s his and Sony’s track record for predictions?
Well the reality is that it is based purely on the direction of the wind and his finger. To you and I, guess work. Three years ago he said the same point would be reached within ten years and now accepts he was wrong - it's within five. He draws comparison to other media sectors where the media itself was already digital or going fully digital. Sony themselves have a strong track record of getting things both right – the Walkman, and wrong – Betamax. BlueRay is still out with the jury but looking dodgy.
Some would suggest the real reason for the prediction was to get column inches to announce that Sony will sponsor a new category in this year’s Dylan Thomas Prize - the Sony Reader Award for Unpublished Writers. The prize, to be awarded in December, will go to the best book by an unpublished novelist under 30 years old.
Perhaps that news needed a bit of sizzle to get those inches and PR.
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