Many publishers are struggling with delivering their content electronically. Points of delivery include
· Websites: which are often perceived as free content
· Applications: which are deployed in closed environments like Apple iOS, Google Android, RIM Blackberry, Facebook, etc. These have the advantage that users expect to pay for them, but the system owners can change the rules at will as magazine publishers learned with Apple and anyone who tries to keep an app running on Facebook learns regularly.
· Devices: Such as Amazon Kindle, Barnes and Noble Nook, Sony Reader, etc. We call these uncontrolled environments as a publisher can only furnish the file to go on the device – the device determines how the user interacts with the content, how the content is displayed, etc.
· Aggregators: Such as Baker & Taylor, Ingram, Overdrive, Mobipocket, etc, who take the same files as the device manufacturers, and get them out to the world of eBook sales agents – again, a largely uncontrolled environment.
· If a publisher has bought in to enabling content in all available channels to maximize content revenue and has worked out a pricing strategy for each then, what is likely discovered is the lowest cost price for eContent delivery is from the publisher's own systems.
· That implies that the publisher have a strategy to maximize the number of purchases made for content from its own systems and be able to deliver same. VML has devised a flow that supports this objective.
Basically, the goal is to drive users to your website system and keep them there for as long as possible using a reader capability that is browser based. HTML5 is the ideal for this due to its formatting, feed capability, and offline cache technology. However, not all browsing products (most notably Microsoft Internet Explorer) implement HTML5 well. As such, and for the foreseeable future, publishers will need to support a standard browser-based reader where required or desired by the user.
The strategy only guides the user to applications when they require offline reading that
· Does not support HTML5, or
· Is too big for the HTML5 cache
At that point, and only that point, does the publisher take on the expense of providing the content through an application system that likely has additional charges for delivery.