Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Three Cherries and You Win

Everyone is familiar with the ‘one armed bandit’ or slot machine. Three cherries, or three of a kind and you win, two cherries and a pear you don’t.

To many today’s the ebook download world is a one armed bandit. As the market adopts epub we can effectively put that cherry on hold and pull again.

The next row is DRM and getting a cherry here is not easy or has implications. Adobe has the cherry but the implications on the next row – the device, may be significant and if there are only cherries in the row then that stops there maybe being three pears or three of anything but cherries.

Next we have the device row. This is where we have to match up to the format and the DRM. Today we can have three pears tomorrow only cherries may prevail in the download world.

We must remember this is a one armed bandit and although they usually have three rows this one has to have four and must include the consumer. Some today will supply epub files to a service who will convert these to their own delivery and DRM. The publisher sees three cherries but the consumer sees three pears. Most one armed bandits pay out differently according to the fruit.

When the price of the device drops below $100 dollars then it is easy to see the market but today at $300 plus this is not the case. Online still offers three cherries and more flexibility as laptops shrink in size, weight, cost and wireless broadband becomes ubiquitous. Online is where today’s digital action is.

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