Netflix has surpassed 40m global subscribers. Spotify has more than 6m paying users. Digital film and music streaming services are bursting into the mainstream.
The same cannot be said for digital book subscription platforms. From Oyster Booksof the US and Madrid-based 24symbols to child literature-focused Bookboard, there are more than a dozen digital book subscription services globally, giving users the opportunity to read often unlimited titles for a set monthly fee.
It is also a sign, say some, that revenue models can be found that do not alienate the big publishers. Some of the biggest ones are concerned that these services will merely shift many of their more voracious book buyers on to library-style platforms, further denting sales during a period of global decline.
“Cannibalisation is probably one of their biggest fears”, says Alice Enders, analyst at Enders Analysis, as “80 per cent of their revenue comes from 20 per cent of the most avid readers.”
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