Friday, November 09, 2007

Is it Wise?

The Iphone launches in the UK today and HarperCollins has announced that it has signed an exclusive deal with Apple to provide free book content that will enable all iPhone users to download content. The content is of samples of titles that includes Nicola Barker's ‘Darkmans’, Lewis Hamilton's new autobiography and ‘The Dangerous Book for Boys Yearbook’.

The problem is that the deal is exclusive and although it may well boost HarperCollins sales of their titles it does not promote or encourage the wider market. It could be regarded by some as ‘I am all right jack’ attitude and counter productive with respect of the wider audience and market. If digital content is to get the attention span then the trade has to learn to work together for the good of the trade. It is often better to have a slice of the larger pie than all of a smaller one.

Collaboration and consistancy of user offer is important and exclusive deals may work in commodity markets such as mobiles but it is questionable whether they will work in diverse ones such as books.

We hope that logic prevails and the exclusive agreement is short lived.