"In February, in a New Yorker piece originally titled “Is Amazon bad for books?,” a small press publisher, Melville House co-owner Dennis Johnson, described how Amazon had bullied him into signing up for its paid distribution service despite refusing to relinquish any information to him about his actual on-site sales.
Johnson described how, after his initial refusal to play on their terms, Amazon representatives approached him at Book Expo and advised him to “get with the program.” He also described the way Amazon unsummarily pulled the “Buy” buttons from Melville House titles after he publicly criticized the company.
Proponents of Amazon’s lower pricing strategies argue that Amazon is the underdog in the publishing monopoly, not the other way around. But the fact remains that Amazon is a company that singlehandedly controls 30% of the market share of the entire publishing industry. And unlike its competitors, it has a publishing arm, a distribution arm, and a retail arm. Although the price-fixing that the Big Six and Apple were engaged in was blatantly illegal, the maneuver was a unilateral way of competing as a group against Amazon’s predatory pricing—that is, its ability to leverage its other retail holdings to offer rock-bottom pricing for its books, effectively decimating the landscape of other booksellers.
Increasingly, the rhetoric about Amazon’s bullying tactics is that the company is violating the same antitrust laws that it used to spear Apple and the Big Five on the Department of Justice’s hook. “Monopoly achieved,” Johnson wrote after the verdict."
You can’t pre-order JK Rowling’s newest book from Amazon because Amazon is holding it hostage
"Better for Amazon is rarely better for the publishing industry."
Nope. I’m not defending Amazon here. At the same time, they control only 30% of the book sales market. Customers have lots of options of where to buy the book. And publishers have lots of options for where to sell their books. Not least of which are direct.
Publishers tried to stop the future of publishing for years and created the environment where Amazon could rise to prominence. I’m not suggesting that Amazon is an innocent lamb here. Or, for that matter, not playing serious (and consumer-unfriendly) hardball. But to suggest publishers are helpless victims - or that they’ve been more customer friendly - seriously misrepresents the facts of the story.
"The ultimate problem for Apple, Beats and any other media distributor is that people want to experience art for themselves. These marketers speak in terms of data, simplification, and “music discovery,” an asinine formalization of “turning on the radio.” It’s not about discovery, the “user experience,” or their “trust” in your brand: it’s about finding a way we can arrive at music, on our own terms, free of the hype, advertisements, PR chicanery, and editorial bias you’re offering. We’re not paying you to tell us what to like: we’re paying you to provide us an easy platform through which to navigate music. Shut up, and take our money."
Chris Ott (via newspeedwayboogie)
(Source: medium.com, via fred-wilson)