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2009年10月12日 (月)

E-book Ripples in the cup

Another one bites the dust?? Magazines, Publishers...

Who's Next? Well, Kindle won't be the one. But how will it get sucess in the cell phone spreading Japanese market. Everything can be done on the cell phone here, such as buying clothes, the commuting pass payment, TV, and reading novels. The cell phone penetarates over 100%. Any piece of pie for Kindle?

Quite few people read English written books. So, the Kindle does not become the kuro-fune, the black warship coming to Japan forced the Edo government to quit its sealed off policy, for the Japanese publishing houses. It will not be until Kindle carries Japanese books that the publishing industry scent the danger.

★ Japanese Newspapers Rush to Mobile

Publisher's eye put on TV sets.  Mainichi, one of the top three news media in Japan, opens its TV browser service at CEATEC. You can read news on the big screen as the same style of paper. TV viewing rates are supported by boomers. TV as the news paper screen is a good idea. The big fonts are easy to read. No paper is good for ecology :) It would charge monthly fee, but how much it would be is not decided yet.   

Sankei, around 1.5 million circulation news paper, has launched its iPhone service. It displays exactly the same version on the iPhone. You can flick the paper as it is on the iPhone.This is free of charge.

★  Manga Slides... on your mobile 

Digital publishing has turned out huge on the cell phone in Japan. Especially manga on mobile is coming. EZweb, one of Japanese telco KDDI's wireless brand name, has mobile phone app. In CEATEC, it exhibit the new manga browser.

Paper manga are saved as picture and transited on mobile. So, reading mobile manga is like seeing a slide show. Editors meteculouslly compose each frame of manga with the technique of cut-in, dissolve or so forth. This is very different experience from the magazine reading. (see the video below)

The guy in CEATEC EZweb booth said, 'Kindle would not get popularity in Japan.' he has a skeptical mind on the specific use device. 'The cell phone has much versatility than Kindle does.' Japanese has kept improved the mobile usability before the Kindle come in. The supposed competitors do not seem to think much of it. 

★ No Corsica in Their Dictionary? 

Tokyo based start-up Enigmo launched the magazine sharing service, Corsica on October 7th. It provides the digital copy of magazine, so users can read favorite magazines online with no software download or installation. Enigmo purchases  copies of magazines exactly the same number of copy users order online. Then, it digital-scans and provides users with online reading experience. 

It scratches the publish giants nerves. JMPA asked Enigomo to quit the service in order to protect the copyright of publishers. Enigmo said that this the representative for a personal copy of magazines therefore they don't see it as a copyright violation.

My friend from the publishing industry, told me, "First of all, I doubt that contets of magazine deserve for the sustainable busines model. You know, they haven't been going well on their home format, paper." Wow, "Many internet start-ups have too much illusion at the incumbent contents, such as magazine articles, novels, cover stories. What they have to do is to creat new contents associated with online culture."

■ Who Let the Kindle out?

What contents do you want to pay for? That's the issue of pubilishing industry. Kindle is the new distribution and new opportunity to get more attention for the publishers. Whether it catches the luck or not depends on the industry's will itself.

★ Miscellaneous in Japan

-  College textbooks are not so heavy as the US ones
-  Amazon.com share is 40% in Japan
-  Some friends use Kindle as sleep installer, as it speaks in English
-  Few enjoy English books

-  Enigmo said that Corsica applys for those who are not JMPA members. Some members, however, want a contract with Corsica because it buy a copy anyway.

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