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(Deadline)   Amazon locked in a bitter sales dispute with Disney, which isn't allowing the online retailer to sell DVD and Blu-Ray copies of Captain America, Maleficent, and Million Dollar Arm. Not that anyone would buy the last one   (deadline.com) divider line 71
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1718 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 10 Aug 2014 at 11:47 AM (5 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-08-10 10:54:50 AM
I love that they still want me to feel sorry for the gouging book publisher, charging the same price for an e-book as a hardcover when their production and distribution expenses just dropped to zero.
 
2014-08-10 11:59:42 AM
I gave up on buying physical copies of movies awhile ago. Saves clutter on my shelves.
 
2014-08-10 12:09:27 PM

ArkAngel: I love that they still want me to feel sorry for the gouging book publisher, charging the same price for an e-book as a hardcover when their production and distribution expenses just dropped to zero.


They have the right to charge what they want for the book. Fin.
 
GBB
2014-08-10 12:14:42 PM

ArkAngel: I love that they still want me to feel sorry for the gouging book publisher, charging the same price for an e-book as a hardcover when their production and distribution expenses just dropped to zero.


I believe that profit should be regulated as well.  We should talk.
 
2014-08-10 12:15:18 PM

TheZorker: ArkAngel: I love that they still want me to feel sorry for the gouging book publisher, charging the same price for an e-book as a hardcover when their production and distribution expenses just dropped to zero.

They have the right to charge what they want for the book. Fin.


And Amazon has the right to stop selling their product any more.
 
2014-08-10 12:17:01 PM

TheZorker: ArkAngel: I love that they still want me to feel sorry for the gouging book publisher, charging the same price for an e-book as a hardcover when their production and distribution expenses just dropped to zero.

They have the right to charge what they want for the book. Fin.


And Amazon should be forced to sell it for that price.  Because free market.
 
2014-08-10 12:19:41 PM
The other day I remembered there was a local bookstore. Walked down, bought a book to read this weekend. It took a few minutes longer than downloading it instantly, but I felt a bit better not giving my money to Amazon.
 
2014-08-10 12:21:01 PM

TheZorker: ArkAngel: I love that they still want me to feel sorry for the gouging book publisher, charging the same price for an e-book as a hardcover when their production and distribution expenses just dropped to zero.

They have the right to charge what they want for the book. Fin.


Not when they get together with a retailer and all the other major publishers and decide they are going to charge $15 a book. That's what's called price fixing.
 
2014-08-10 12:27:11 PM

ArkAngel: I love that they still want me to feel sorry for the gouging book publisher, charging the same price for an e-book as a hardcover when their production and distribution expenses just dropped to zero.


I agree.  The same goes for digitally distributed games, movies, audio, etc.  I am not willing to pay the same amount for a downloaded copy of something as I am for a physical copy.
 
2014-08-10 12:33:36 PM

TuteTibiImperes: ArkAngel: I love that they still want me to feel sorry for the gouging book publisher, charging the same price for an e-book as a hardcover when their production and distribution expenses just dropped to zero.

I agree.  The same goes for digitally distributed games, movies, audio, etc.  I am not willing to pay the same amount for a downloaded copy of something as I am for a physical copy.


i like the way Amazon is handling some of their CD sales. buy the physical copy of the CD and they give you the digital copies. Why not just add $1 to to cost of the physical book and give me the digital copy to my kindle.

I prefer reading physical books over digital and after I read the book if it isn't one I will read again I donate it to the local library. I live in a poor county and the libraries need anything they can get.
 
2014-08-10 12:44:56 PM

Waldo Pepper: i like the way Amazon is handling some of their CD sales. buy the physical copy of the CD and they give you the digital copies. Why not just add $1 to to cost of the physical book and give me the digital copy to my kindle.


They do with some book.s Again it requires the publisher's permission.
 
2014-08-10 12:48:40 PM
I want to like ebooks, but the idea of having all of my content tied to one system isn't too appealing. I'd love something akin to how Apple pushed for DRM-free music. I just want an ePub file, that I can do what I'd like with. I highly doubt amazon will ever give us that.
 
2014-08-10 12:52:25 PM
I love how one paragraph of that story has to do with the actual news of the Amazon/Disney dust-up, and the rest is un- or barely-related filler. Great journalism there. Real Pulitzer material.

/I can wait to order the newest Captain America DVD until it's on Amazon, thanks.
 
2014-08-10 01:10:09 PM
Where did the article get the idea that it is Disney not allowing them to sell Disney movies?  That's obviously not true otherwise they wouldn't be available on Amazon's digital service.  Every other news report I've read about it says Amazon isn't allowing customers to buy physical copies in order to put pressure on Disney to renegotiate their contract for better terms, just like they did with Warner Bros last year and how they're going about it with Hachette.

I don't know how anyone can support that kind of shiatty tactic.
 
2014-08-10 01:10:19 PM

nharrisphoto: I gave up on buying physical copies of movies awhile ago. Saves clutter on my shelves.


The problem with video is that there's no easily interchangeable format. It's bloody infuriating. My smart TV plays Amazon but not Google. My Chromecast plays Google but not Amazon. And I know that at any time, Amazon can just say "yeah, we're dropping Smart TV".

The best working solution is having a NAS in your home running Plex server with ripped BDs. Then you install Plex on your devices (Plex seem to try to support everything). Which I must get around to doing.
 
2014-08-10 01:12:53 PM

gerrymander: I love how one paragraph of that story has to do with the actual news of the Amazon/Disney dust-up, and the rest is un- or barely-related filler. Great journalism there. Real Pulitzer material.

/I can wait to order the newest Captain America DVD until it's on Amazon, thanks.


man i thought it was just me. i tried reading the article but found myself scanning to try to find the actual story
 
2014-08-10 01:34:31 PM
So that's why I couldn't pre-order CA:TWS.  Good to know, just pre-ordered it from Target.
 
2014-08-10 01:35:25 PM
Yeah, let's all feel sorry for the publishers who have screwed over writers for decades, as opposed to Amazon who's proposed system increased increases author payments 6 fold.

Weep for those poor, poor buggy-whip publishers.
 
2014-08-10 01:37:44 PM

Lumbar Puncture: Where did the article get the idea that it is Disney not allowing them to sell Disney movies?  That's obviously not true otherwise they wouldn't be available on Amazon's digital service.  Every other news report I've read about it says Amazon isn't allowing customers to buy physical copies in order to put pressure on Disney to renegotiate their contract for better terms, just like they did with Warner Bros last year and how they're going about it with Hachette.

I don't know how anyone can support that kind of shiatty tactic.


Wait, you mean the same Hachette who was found guilt as party to illegally manipulate the book market only 6 months ago? Yeah, they're a real trustworthy party here.
 
2014-08-10 01:38:11 PM

farkeruk: nharrisphoto: I gave up on buying physical copies of movies awhile ago. Saves clutter on my shelves.

The problem with video is that there's no easily interchangeable format. It's bloody infuriating. My smart TV plays Amazon but not Google. My Chromecast plays Google but not Amazon. And I know that at any time, Amazon can just say "yeah, we're dropping Smart TV".

The best working solution is having a NAS in your home running Plex server with ripped BDs. Then you install Plex on your devices (Plex seem to try to support everything). Which I must get around to doing.


Yep, I've got a Plex server, and then Plex on my Roku, tablet, and phone. I have a few things I bought through Google Play but don't want to have to get a Chromecast just to stream them to the tv. I'll usually purchase through Amazon if I'm not going to torrent. At least then I can still play it on my tv through the Roku or Wii U, or through the computer, or even on my tablet since its standard browser is from back before Adobe dropped Flash support on Android devices. I also really like that you can share Plex servers with other people. I share mine with my parents and have a friend that shares his with me.
 
2014-08-10 01:42:08 PM

Bungles: Lumbar Puncture: Where did the article get the idea that it is Disney not allowing them to sell Disney movies?  That's obviously not true otherwise they wouldn't be available on Amazon's digital service.  Every other news report I've read about it says Amazon isn't allowing customers to buy physical copies in order to put pressure on Disney to renegotiate their contract for better terms, just like they did with Warner Bros last year and how they're going about it with Hachette.

I don't know how anyone can support that kind of shiatty tactic.

Wait, you mean the same Hachette who was found guilt as party to illegally manipulate the book market only 6 months ago? Yeah, they're a real trustworthy party here.


Look, Hachette sucks.  But at the same time, Amazon delaying shipping of their products to fark with a company is just farking the consumer, and is just as shady.
 
2014-08-10 01:46:51 PM

hammer85: Bungles: Lumbar Puncture: Where did the article get the idea that it is Disney not allowing them to sell Disney movies?  That's obviously not true otherwise they wouldn't be available on Amazon's digital service.  Every other news report I've read about it says Amazon isn't allowing customers to buy physical copies in order to put pressure on Disney to renegotiate their contract for better terms, just like they did with Warner Bros last year and how they're going about it with Hachette.

I don't know how anyone can support that kind of shiatty tactic.

Wait, you mean the same Hachette who was found guilt as party to illegally manipulate the book market only 6 months ago? Yeah, they're a real trustworthy party here.

Look, Hachette sucks.  But at the same time, Amazon delaying shipping of their products to fark with a company is just farking the consumer, and is just as shady.


The way I see it, Amazon is looking for the long-term health of the customers and the authors: their plan cuts costs for the former and massively boosts earnings for the latter.

The problem is we only have one Amazon, and that's never good for a competitive market. We need many Amazons, and the publishing industry as we know it to collapse, because it's rotten and increasingly irrelevant.
 
2014-08-10 01:52:56 PM
I'd rather have a physical copy of my movies myself but that's just me. I don't give a shiat about book, I never learned to read.
 
2014-08-10 01:53:28 PM

Bungles: Lumbar Puncture: Where did the article get the idea that it is Disney not allowing them to sell Disney movies?  That's obviously not true otherwise they wouldn't be available on Amazon's digital service.  Every other news report I've read about it says Amazon isn't allowing customers to buy physical copies in order to put pressure on Disney to renegotiate their contract for better terms, just like they did with Warner Bros last year and how they're going about it with Hachette.

I don't know how anyone can support that kind of shiatty tactic.

Wait, you mean the same Hachette who was found guilt as party to illegally manipulate the book market only 6 months ago? Yeah, they're a real trustworthy party here.


http://www.vanityfair.com/online/daily/2014/06/amazon-hachette-antit ru st-backfire

Hachette's an outdated creaky business model and Amazon has done more in the last five years for the future of publishing and creating new exciting market opportunities for everyone.

I don't have to like Hachette (or Warner Bros, or Disney) to think that Amazon selectively screwing with pre-orders and delaying shipments on products for no other reason than to pressure better contracts with them is dealing in good faith and benefits me as a consumer.  I'd rather they threaten to delist companies instead of farking around with my book or DVD orders as a negotiating tool.
 
2014-08-10 01:59:59 PM

Lumbar Puncture: Bungles: Lumbar Puncture: Where did the article get the idea that it is Disney not allowing them to sell Disney movies?  That's obviously not true otherwise they wouldn't be available on Amazon's digital service.  Every other news report I've read about it says Amazon isn't allowing customers to buy physical copies in order to put pressure on Disney to renegotiate their contract for better terms, just like they did with Warner Bros last year and how they're going about it with Hachette.

I don't know how anyone can support that kind of shiatty tactic.

Wait, you mean the same Hachette who was found guilt as party to illegally manipulate the book market only 6 months ago? Yeah, they're a real trustworthy party here.

http://www.vanityfair.com/online/daily/2014/06/amazon-hachette-antit ru st-backfire

Hachette's an outdated creaky business model and Amazon has done more in the last five years for the future of publishing and creating new exciting market opportunities for everyone.

I don't have to like Hachette (or Warner Bros, or Disney) to think that Amazon selectively screwing with pre-orders and delaying shipments on products for no other reason than to pressure better contracts with them is dealing in good faith and benefits me as a consumer.  I'd rather they threaten to delist companies instead of farking around with my book or DVD orders as a negotiating tool.


Virtually every bricks-and-mortar business makes similar decisions by simply not stocking a product if they can't meet favourable terms. What Amazon's doing - still stocking and selling but degrading that service - is far, far nicer than what virtually any other large-scale business does to its suppliers. They do that because they know companies would simply collapse if they stopped stocking the product.

Walmart has done that to many, many companies: they stop stocking, and they simply go bust.

Amazon doesn't have some sort of duty to stock a product.
 
2014-08-10 02:03:38 PM
Can we root for both companies to kill each other during this war?
 
2014-08-10 02:08:52 PM

Bungles: Amazon doesn't have some sort of duty to stock a product


I never said they did.  In fact I'd prefer it if they just completely delisted Disney or Hachette if they felt so inclined.

It's one thing to choose not to stock a product, it's another to arbitrarily mess with the sales, discounts and delivery of products that they're choosing to stock.  Degrading the service impacts both the supplier and the consumer, the latter of which they're claiming advocacy for.  It's not kinder, it's extortion.
 
2014-08-10 02:35:19 PM

Lumbar Puncture: Bungles: Amazon doesn't have some sort of duty to stock a product

I never said they did.  In fact I'd prefer it if they just completely delisted Disney or Hachette if they felt so inclined.

It's one thing to choose not to stock a product, it's another to arbitrarily mess with the sales, discounts and delivery of products that they're choosing to stock.  Degrading the service impacts both the supplier and the consumer, the latter of which they're claiming advocacy for.  It's not kinder, it's extortion.


I'm pretty sure that the consumer is never penalised: whatever delivery promise Amazon's made to them is kept.
 
2014-08-10 02:42:37 PM

Lumbar Puncture: Bungles: Amazon doesn't have some sort of duty to stock a product

I never said they did.  In fact I'd prefer it if they just completely delisted Disney or Hachette if they felt so inclined.

It's one thing to choose not to stock a product, it's another to arbitrarily mess with the sales, discounts and delivery of products that they're choosing to stock.  Degrading the service impacts both the supplier and the consumer, the latter of which they're claiming advocacy for.  It's not kinder, it's extortion.


but don't brick and mortar stores sort of do that by stocking a product up high or low, placing it a section of the store that is hard to find or by placing very limited stock on the shelves. 

i recall a company i worked for had a dispute with a tire manufacture, memo comes out to take all of that brand off display, the spiffs went to zero for the tire and the tires were yanked out of the newspaper ads (in the 90's) once the dispute was resolved everything went back to normal but during that time. Also zero of that brands tires were sold.
 
2014-08-10 02:57:13 PM

laivincolmo: I want to like ebooks, but the idea of having all of my content tied to one system isn't too appealing. I'd love something akin to how Apple pushed for DRM-free music. I just want an ePub file, that I can do what I'd like with. I highly doubt amazon will ever give us that.


Many of the books I buy from the iBooks book store have no drm. Usually at the request of the author.
 
2014-08-10 03:01:26 PM

ArkAngel: I love that they still want me to feel sorry for the gouging book publisher, charging the same price for an e-book as a hardcover when their production and distribution expenses just dropped to zero.


So when you go out to eat do you rage about the restaurant charging you $1.50 for 15 cents worth of soda or $4 for beer you could at the liquor store for less than $2?
 
2014-08-10 03:03:04 PM

Bungles: I'm pretty sure that the consumer is never penalised: whatever delivery promise Amazon's made to them is kept


I consider not allowing faster shipping options for consumers on selected authors not consumer or publisher friendly, if you consider it otherwise then we'll have to agree to disagree.
 
2014-08-10 03:07:01 PM

Bungles: hammer85: Bungles: Lumbar Puncture: Where did the article get the idea that it is Disney not allowing them to sell Disney movies?  That's obviously not true otherwise they wouldn't be available on Amazon's digital service.  Every other news report I've read about it says Amazon isn't allowing customers to buy physical copies in order to put pressure on Disney to renegotiate their contract for better terms, just like they did with Warner Bros last year and how they're going about it with Hachette.

I don't know how anyone can support that kind of shiatty tactic.

Wait, you mean the same Hachette who was found guilt as party to illegally manipulate the book market only 6 months ago? Yeah, they're a real trustworthy party here.

Look, Hachette sucks.  But at the same time, Amazon delaying shipping of their products to fark with a company is just farking the consumer, and is just as shady.

The way I see it, Amazon is looking for the long-term health of the customers and the authors: their plan cuts costs for the former and massively boosts earnings for the latter.

The problem is we only have one Amazon, and that's never good for a competitive market. We need many Amazons, and the publishing industry as we know it to collapse, because it's rotten and increasingly irrelevant.


But that's exactly the problem.  For Amazon, the long-term is only Amazon.  Amazon doesn't want to collapse the publishing industry, they want to become the publishing industry.  They want to cut out the middleman and to force authors to work directly for them, that way they can take both the retailer's cut and the publisher's cut.  They don't have either the customers or the authors in their best interest: only themselves.

You can see it in their PR statements they keep putting out.  In Amazon's world, there is only Amazon, e-books, and authors.  They say nothing of other companies, nothing of other publishers, nothing about what cutting the price of e-books would do to the print industry (which still accounts for 70% of all US book sales).  They are in a long-term game to become the Wal-Mart of every industry, pushing costs as low as possible until they can crowd out the rest of the market.  In the short-term, that's good for consumers.  In the long-run, it's terrible because, as you say, there's only one Amazon.  And if Amazon gets its way, that's how it will always be.
 
2014-08-10 03:38:12 PM

rugman11: ArkAngel: I love that they still want me to feel sorry for the gouging book publisher, charging the same price for an e-book as a hardcover when their production and distribution expenses just dropped to zero.

So when you go out to eat do you rage about the restaurant charging you $1.50 for 15 cents worth of soda or $4 for beer you could at the liquor store for less than $2?


First, I don't eat places where prices are crazy high, i.e. concerts, festivals, five star restaurants. Second, the difference is that restaurants are preparing the food for you, bringing it to you, and cleaning up after you.
 
2014-08-10 03:40:38 PM

ArkAngel: rugman11: ArkAngel: I love that they still want me to feel sorry for the gouging book publisher, charging the same price for an e-book as a hardcover when their production and distribution expenses just dropped to zero.

So when you go out to eat do you rage about the restaurant charging you $1.50 for 15 cents worth of soda or $4 for beer you could at the liquor store for less than $2?

First, I don't eat places where prices are crazy high, i.e. concerts, festivals, five star restaurants. Second, the difference is that restaurants are preparing the food for you, bringing it to you, and cleaning up after you.


Whereas there is no infrastructure or cost involved with Kindle whispernet etc amiright?
 
2014-08-10 03:43:12 PM

nharrisphoto: I gave up on buying physical copies of movies awhile ago. Saves clutter on my shelves.


Not everyone has an internet connection good enough to do that( goes out when it rains sometimes, thanks Frontier because no one wants to be entertained when it is raining out). I have DSL (house built in 1920 that I didn't want to spoil with lots of cables). Also I can't loan movies to friends if I just download them.
 
2014-08-10 04:00:43 PM
I have Amazon listed in my search engines and I have an Amazon app. I travel down to the Big Mouse a couple times a year (about 6 hours by car) and am pretty loyal to the Disney brand.

Agree that eBooks should cost less than physical bound printed books. Having a hard time garnering any sympathy with Disney over this one.
 
2014-08-10 04:01:10 PM

doomjesse: nharrisphoto: I gave up on buying physical copies of movies awhile ago. Saves clutter on my shelves.

Not everyone has an internet connection good enough to do that( goes out when it rains sometimes, thanks Frontier because no one wants to be entertained when it is raining out). I have DSL (house built in 1920 that I didn't want to spoil with lots of cables). Also I can't loan movies to friends if I just download them.



Cables? It's in the air now buddy, in the air.
 
2014-08-10 04:29:13 PM

Waldo Pepper: TuteTibiImperes: ArkAngel: I love that they still want me to feel sorry for the gouging book publisher, charging the same price for an e-book as a hardcover when their production and distribution expenses just dropped to zero.

I agree.  The same goes for digitally distributed games, movies, audio, etc.  I am not willing to pay the same amount for a downloaded copy of something as I am for a physical copy.

i like the way Amazon is handling some of their CD sales. buy the physical copy of the CD and they give you the digital copies. Why not just add $1 to to cost of the physical book and give me the digital copy to my kindle.

I prefer reading physical books over digital and after I read the book if it isn't one I will read again I donate it to the local library. I live in a poor county and the libraries need anything they can get.


Authors/publishers have this option. I plan on enabling it myself once the print version of my book is available (should be end of the week).
 
2014-08-10 04:56:45 PM

Waldo Pepper: Lumbar Puncture: Bungles: Amazon doesn't have some sort of duty to stock a product

I never said they did.  In fact I'd prefer it if they just completely delisted Disney or Hachette if they felt so inclined.

It's one thing to choose not to stock a product, it's another to arbitrarily mess with the sales, discounts and delivery of products that they're choosing to stock.  Degrading the service impacts both the supplier and the consumer, the latter of which they're claiming advocacy for.  It's not kinder, it's extortion.

but don't brick and mortar stores sort of do that by stocking a product up high or low, placing it a section of the store that is hard to find or by placing very limited stock on the shelves. 

i recall a company i worked for had a dispute with a tire manufacture, memo comes out to take all of that brand off display, the spiffs went to zero for the tire and the tires were yanked out of the newspaper ads (in the 90's) once the dispute was resolved everything went back to normal but during that time. Also zero of that brands tires were sold.


Yes they do. Businesses contract for preferential shelf space. Same with end caps and the like. Some decisions are made at the store level for internal promotions but manufacturers struggle for good shelf space.
 
2014-08-10 05:02:48 PM

jayhawk88: TheZorker: ArkAngel: I love that they still want me to feel sorry for the gouging book publisher, charging the same price for an e-book as a hardcover when their production and distribution expenses just dropped to zero.

They have the right to charge what they want for the book. Fin.

Not when they get together with a retailer and all the other major publishers and decide they are going to charge $15 a book. That's what's called price fixing.


Of course, if a company sells at low prices to undercut the competition (i.e., Wal-Mart) that's also monopolistic and wrong. Antitrust law: you're damned if you do and damned if you don't.
 
2014-08-10 05:08:32 PM

laivincolmo: I'd love something akin to how Apple pushed for DRM-free music.


They had to get rid of the DRM just to keep up with the market.  Prior to them switching over to DRM-free music, I had already switched over to buying my digital downloads from Amazon because of it.  Not to mention, when Apple first started offering DRM-free songs, they cost extra compared to their DRM tracks.
 
2014-08-10 05:15:59 PM
Well, the physical versions yeah. You can still buy the digital copy of The Winter Soldier for like $15.

Part of me kind of wants to see Amazon drop the price to "free" for the Prime streaming version just for a few days to see the look on Disney's face...
 
2014-08-10 05:20:19 PM

rugman11: ArkAngel: I love that they still want me to feel sorry for the gouging book publisher, charging the same price for an e-book as a hardcover when their production and distribution expenses just dropped to zero.

So when you go out to eat do you rage about the restaurant charging you $1.50 for 15 cents worth of soda or $4 for beer you could at the liquor store for less than $2?


If I want a bottle of wine, a beer, or a coke for a fraction of the cost of what a restaurant charges, I can just stay home. If I want a book, am I expected to write it?
 
2014-08-10 05:44:22 PM

DeaH: rugman11: ArkAngel: I love that they still want me to feel sorry for the gouging book publisher, charging the same price for an e-book as a hardcover when their production and distribution expenses just dropped to zero.

So when you go out to eat do you rage about the restaurant charging you $1.50 for 15 cents worth of soda or $4 for beer you could at the liquor store for less than $2?

If I want a bottle of wine, a beer, or a coke for a fraction of the cost of what a restaurant charges, I can just stay home. If I want a book, am I expected to write it?


The point is that people who complain that the cost of an e-book is not directly related to the marginal cost to produce an additional copy never apply that same concept to anything else.  A 20-oz bottle of soda is almost universally more expensive than a two 2-liter bottle and yet nobody complains because most intelligent people recognize that a product price is more than just the sum of its inputs.  In the case of soda, there's a convenience factor that goes into the price of smaller offerings.

As for books, the cost of production is relatively small.  The cost for a publisher to print and distribute a hardcover book is less than $4.  The bulk of the price is meant to recoup the cost of advances, editing, layout, cover art, marketing, and, yes, profit for the retailer, publisher, and author.  Most new hardcovers are priced at $25-30, meaning that, if we apply the theory that only the cost of inputs should determine the price, a new e-book should run $20-25.  Just because the cost physically producing an additional copy of an e-book is nearly zero, that doesn't mean that the cost to produce that work and all other copies of that work was zero.
 
2014-08-10 05:47:08 PM

Iczer: Well, the physical versions yeah. You can still buy the digital copy of The Winter Soldier for like $15.

Part of me kind of wants to see Amazon drop the price to "free" for the Prime streaming version just for a few days to see the look on Disney's face...


The look of joy from them violating a licensing agreement?  Yeah, me too.
 
2014-08-10 06:39:06 PM

skepticultist: So that's why I couldn't pre-order CA:TWS.  Good to know, just pre-ordered it from Target.


I was wondering that as well. I was just there pre-ordering Desolation of Smaug Extended Edition, and I was thinking as long as I'm here I'll preorder CA:TWS too. But wtf -- I couldn't find it. Now I know why.
 
2014-08-10 06:56:59 PM

rugman11: DeaH: rugman11: ArkAngel: I love that they still want me to feel sorry for the gouging book publisher, charging the same price for an e-book as a hardcover when their production and distribution expenses just dropped to zero.

So when you go out to eat do you rage about the restaurant charging you $1.50 for 15 cents worth of soda or $4 for beer you could at the liquor store for less than $2?

If I want a bottle of wine, a beer, or a coke for a fraction of the cost of what a restaurant charges, I can just stay home. If I want a book, am I expected to write it?

The point is that people who complain that the cost of an e-book is not directly related to the marginal cost to produce an additional copy never apply that same concept to anything else.  A 20-oz bottle of soda is almost universally more expensive than a two 2-liter bottle and yet nobody complains because most intelligent people recognize that a product price is more than just the sum of its inputs.  In the case of soda, there's a convenience factor that goes into the price of smaller offerings.

As for books, the cost of production is relatively small.  The cost for a publisher to print and distribute a hardcover book is less than $4.  The bulk of the price is meant to recoup the cost of advances, editing, layout, cover art, marketing, and, yes, profit for the retailer, publisher, and author.  Most new hardcovers are priced at $25-30, meaning that, if we apply the theory that only the cost of inputs should determine the price, a new e-book should run $20-25.  Just because the cost physically producing an additional copy of an e-book is nearly zero, that doesn't mean that the cost to produce that work and all other copies of that work was zero.


Actually, the point is that people have options to make sure their costs are lower for things like food and drink. With books, not so much. Further, the point that you're trying to make just does not make sense because these are not like comparisons.

In the case of food:  I am far more likely to order food in a restaurant than wine because I understand that I am paying for the labor of someone else doing the shopping, the cooking, the serving, and the cleaning. I know where why money is going. I do not begrudge the fair (and not that large) margin of profit for the restaurant because I mostly paying for a lot more than a steak when I get a steak.

In the case of soda: Since the cost of soda is low, I am betting that most people do not care whether they are paying a dollar for a soda. I do not drink soda, but I know a lot of places offer unlimited refills on it. Many people drink at least two glasses of soda in a restaurant, so the difference between at-home cost and in-a-restaurant cost is minimal for most people.

In the case of wine: Are you really under the impression that people don't complain about this? Many diners avoid ordering alcohol at all at dinner because the cost is so high. For something like beer, again, if we are talking about on-tap beer, the cost is more in line with what consumers could expect to pay for a bottle of beer - or at least the difference is not enough difference in real dollars to cause a twinge. With beer, there is also the question of variety. If I am in an Asian restaurant, they are going to have beer that I do not have access to. Chance are if I were to order the beer online, my cost would be about the same as a bottle at the restaurant's price one I factor in tax and shipping. Plus, I get it faster at the restaurant.

No, it simply will not work comparing the cost of an eBook to the cost of anything in a restaurant. You would be more in line comparing it to a food manufacturer, not a restaurant. Tyson wants a way bigger share of the cost of a chicken than the farmer. And the CEO gets a much higher slice of the pie than the immigrant working in the meat packing plant. If Kroger demanded lower prices with more money going to farmers and line workers and less money going to C-Level execs, that would be a similar situation.
 
2014-08-10 07:18:55 PM

DeaH: In the case of food: I am far more likely to order food in a restaurant than wine because I understand that I am paying for the labor of someone else doing the shopping, the cooking, the serving, and the cleaning. I know where why money is going. I do not begrudge the fair (and not that large) margin of profit for the restaurant because I mostly paying for a lot more than a steak when I get a steak.


But you're making my point exactly.  When you go to a restaurant, you take into account that there's a great deal more that goes into making your meal than the cost of the materials.  When people talk about the "right" price for an e-book, they seem always to neglect all of the cost that goes into actually producing a text, even before it ever reaches the printer.

A price of $14.99 for a new hardcover title is a pretty steep discount from the list price - far more than the cost of production.  This is reflective of the fact that the market has already decided that anything more than $15-20 for an e-book is too much (though some titles can still get away with more).  To insist that prices should go even lower (as if every e-book is an additional marginal sale on top of however many hardcovers the company would have sold, and therefore every additional copy at any price is additional profit) is an extremely flawed way of thinking.

You'll notice that not even Amazon is making this argument.  Their argument is that lower e-book prices would lead to higher e-book revenues for all parties.  This may be true (it may not be - we have only Amazon's word), but it completely ignores the impact of lower e-book prices on the print market.  But that's another discussion to be had.
 
2014-08-10 07:36:53 PM

rugman11: DeaH: In the case of food: I am far more likely to order food in a restaurant than wine because I understand that I am paying for the labor of someone else doing the shopping, the cooking, the serving, and the cleaning. I know where why money is going. I do not begrudge the fair (and not that large) margin of profit for the restaurant because I mostly paying for a lot more than a steak when I get a steak.

But you're making my point exactly.  When you go to a restaurant, you take into account that there's a great deal more that goes into making your meal than the cost of the materials.  When people talk about the "right" price for an e-book, they seem always to neglect all of the cost that goes into actually producing a text, even before it ever reaches the printer.

A price of $14.99 for a new hardcover title is a pretty steep discount from the list price - far more than the cost of production.  This is reflective of the fact that the market has already decided that anything more than $15-20 for an e-book is too much (though some titles can still get away with more).  To insist that prices should go even lower (as if every e-book is an additional marginal sale on top of however many hardcovers the company would have sold, and therefore every additional copy at any price is additional profit) is an extremely flawed way of thinking.

You'll notice that not even Amazon is making this argument.  Their argument is that lower e-book prices would lead to higher e-book revenues for all parties.  This may be true (it may not be - we have only Amazon's word), but it completely ignores the impact of lower e-book prices on the print market.  But that's another discussion to be had.


I think part of the problem with the ebook pricing is when you can get the paperback cheaper than the ebook. usually the older books are where I have an issue with the digital price.  If it is a new release and the hardcover is $25 and digital is $15 that gives me a decent choice. but when it a 10 year old book and the prices are pretty much the same or the ebook is higher than print I start to wonder why buy digital. 

I'm honestly okay with some of the fighting and screwed up pricing currently going on as I know the market is still trying to find it's legs and hopefully it will settle down in the next couple of years. 

I agree with an earlier farker.  there needs to be one set standard for ebooks, what i buy should work on all devices.
 
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