Ad-supported streaming may – and indeed is very likely – to be the middle way for the near future. Might we see the same development in book-streaming?
The Wrap’s headline – “Why Hollywood Is in a Mad Rush to Launch Ad-Supported Streaming Options” – may not entirely reflect the situation, but with a global recession settling in it’s no surprise consumers are looking carefully at their outgoings and wondering if they really can justify all these streaming subscriptions, let alone add another.
Ad-supported streaming may – and indeed is very likely – to be the middle way for the near future.
Might we see the same development in book-streaming? The purists will be tearing their hair out at the very thought, but in hard times ads may prove critical for some.
And let’s be honest, we’ve managed to read past (or completely ignore) the ads in comics, magazines and newspapers since forever without irreparable harm to our brain cells or the collapse of civilisation as we know it.
And of course publishers, like video streamers, depend on advertising in other media to get noticed and drive sales.
A TNPS deep delve into this conundrum sometime soon. Meantime do check out The Wrap’s take on this.
For decades, “ads in books” have been touted, tried, and failed without exception. Minor victories have occurred, but faded quickly. The problem is the use case and the user experience. Online news articles aren’t books. Comic books are not “books.” Magazines aren’t books. Ad-supported publications aren’t “free.” The user is paying their attention/exposure to ads. And that payment is anathema to the book experience.
Subscription is a band-aid on the user problem of having to buy the book up front which the user often does not read completely or rejects entirely. But there is still the monthly cost of the subscription, piled up on top of multiple other subscriptions the user is paying for already. Subscription services are limited by the supply chain which chooses not to put large swaths of the catalog into subscription.
So, If the problem to be solved is having to pay for something you don’t want or need, the solution is putting the book into the hands of the user without requiring them to pay for it up front. But then, what is the business model? How does the publisher make the cash register ring? There is a different way: streaming ebook micropayments where you only pay for what you read, one page at a time. And when the page turns the author earns. Inara.world has that solution today.