Wednesday, March 31, 2010

End-of-Quarter Updates

With the end of the quarter upon us, here's a review of where we stand with some ongoing stories:
  • Just days before Apple launches its iPad and associated iBook store, Amazon agreed to stop discounting the prices of e-books from two more major publishers. As The Wall Street Journal reports, both Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins will set their own prices under the "agency" model. This mirrors the deals at the iBook store, as well as those that Amazon had previously set with other publishers. Now we need to wait and see what the iPad does for/to e-books.
  • While we're waiting on the iPad, we continue to wait on the Google book settlement. Judge Chin is presumably still pondering the possibilities, and we can but hope he will continue to be harsh on Google, demanding further improvements in the now-revised proposed settlement.
  • And in good news for theater owners, audiences (so far) are willingly paying much higher ticket prices for 3D movies. As Variety reports, the upcharge for 3D tickets at many theaters is now as much as 50% of a regular 2D ticket price. Will audiences tire of a 3D "fad", and decide that movies are no longer the most-economic family entertainment option (as the industry has promoted itself); or will 3D become the new standard, as sound once replaced silent pictures, and color offed black-and-white? Only time will tell.