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Are We Entering the Age of Digital Book Subscription Platforms?

Whether it is the Folger Shakespeare Library’s collection or San Antonio’s BiblioTech, hallowed institutions are making that switch to a digital platform and beginning to have dominance over their respective market. Digital subscription platforms, such as Netflix or Spotify, are all the rage. Several institutions, however, have yet to catch on, thinking that digitization is merely a fad or that customers will move on. How wrong they are!

For the past few years, the world’s largest book publishers have refused to sign up with digital book subscription platforms like Oyster Books and Scribd. Signing up with these services, in their publishing eyes, was not necessarily the right move to make in terms of profit. So, of course, these subscription platforms have suffered because of it. Without the assistance of major publishers, these platforms don’t have access to a plethora of titles, which is a main reason why digital book subscription platforms haven’t reached the success of something like Netflix. That may soon change with recent news that HarperCollins has reached a deal with San Francisco’s Scribd.

In the article, “Big publishers take fresh look at digital book services,” Robert Budden of writes, “Some book analysts see this as a milestone for the sector, bringing valuable content to these platforms and with it the likelihood of renewed interest from consumers” Are these book analysts correct? Have we indeed reached a milestone? The reason for this belief is that HarperCollins would not have reached an agreement if it didn’t mean some kind of revenue flow for the company. Hopefully the agreement will set the precedent that other big book publishers will follow.


Is it all about money though? Yes and no. According to Charlie Redmayne, HarperCollins UK chief executive, the deal agreed upon “should protect the interests of authors and publishers.” This is obviously a good thing, as we need to protect the artists that produce our much beloved works. HarperCollins has started to see the possibilities of a digital platform service as a way to grow even more, for both the author and the publisher. Finally! HarperCollins has found a model they are comfortable with using. Other publishing companies are sure to follow. What do you think?

Big publishing companies are taking the digital plunge, and so should you. It’s time to digitally publish those magazines, newspapers, flyers, catalogues, books and promotional booklets you own. MediaWire™ will open your eyes to a world of possibility and accessibility!