Author Topic: Penguin Random House & TikTok Team Up  (Read 1159 times)

writeway

Penguin Random House & TikTok Team Up
« on: September 24, 2022, 02:58:21 AM »
PRH will be able to influence BookTok and possibly other things on TT from now on. Read the article to see what's on the horizon. Once again, the big pubs use their money to stay in control.

https://digiday.com/marketing/inside-penguin-random-houses-play-to-reach-avid-readers-on-tiktoks-booktok/

Thoughts?
« Last Edit: September 24, 2022, 03:04:07 AM by writeway »
 

idontknowyet

Re: Penguin Random House & TikTok Team Up
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2022, 01:20:26 AM »
One of these days indies need to unite and form their own sales platform.
The only problem is it needs to be started by a collective of prominent authors with credibility and a huge fan base if it stands any chance of working.

Otherwise we're going to keep fighting an uphill battle with trads and book platforms.
 
The following users thanked this post: writeway

Hopscotch

Re: Penguin Random House & TikTok Team Up
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2022, 07:27:10 AM »
I'm not sure that TikTok is where the readers are for most of us.  I'd rather find a way to get all our books "banned in Boston" (or I guess it's Texas these days), then everyone would want to buy and read our stuff.  That's a platform to go after. :hehe
 

PJ Post

Re: Penguin Random House & TikTok Team Up
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2022, 12:54:45 AM »
One of these days indies need to unite and form their own sales platform.

I've been trying for years.

Quote
The only problem is it needs to be started by a collective of prominent authors with credibility and a huge fan base if it stands any chance of working.

Nope, it's easy-peasy - it just requires putting in the work. Any of us could start it.

Quote
Otherwise we're going to keep fighting an uphill battle with trads and book platforms.

Yep.

__

As for the OP: like many conglomerates today, they're trying a little of everything without any real plan. It's a minor investment with essentially no downside. It might even net a few bucks, who knows?
 

idontknowyet

Re: Penguin Random House & TikTok Team Up
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2022, 08:56:19 AM »
It's not easy peasy. And the reason it fails is you need buy in quick.

To get buy in people need to see sales.
In order for this new platform to see sales right away you need three things.
1. ads - and lots of them.
2. a built in reader base
3. and trust



No one trusts joe shmoo author enough to trust them with their livelihood. You need a group of authors with a big enough following to bring their readers in. And enough community support for mid list and other big names to jump on when they start showing success.

You also need something for the community to buy in with.

As story persay. Why is this place better than amazon? Since shipping alone is going to be more than amazon until they build up enough of a market to negotiate lower shipping like amazon does.

Personally i'd use the indie branding. Like the trader joes before it was bought by amazon brand.

The small guys taking on the big brands. Support your single mom writers. Support your neighbor with a story. And so on.

I might even make that a series of ads. Your not funding jeff's next private plane. By purchasing from xyz bookstore you help a mom buy her kids a new pair of shoes. You help a college student pay for their first apartment. Find stories like that to build a brand on.

Make it a nonprofit/coop so that it stays that way.

but thats just me i neither have the money, the time, or the social proof to do any of that.
 

PJ Post

Re: Penguin Random House & TikTok Team Up
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2022, 10:01:53 PM »
Sorry, I don't agree with your assumptions, but most self-publishers do. My problem with them is they're based on the past and what can't be done, as opposed to the future and what can be.

We don't need ads or a built-in reader base. We just need to be successful at what we're doing, the rest will take care of itself.

It really is just that simple.
 

LilyBLily

Re: Penguin Random House & TikTok Team Up
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2022, 12:04:06 AM »
Sorry, I don't agree with your assumptions, but most self-publishers do. My problem with them is they're based on the past and what can't be done, as opposed to the future and what can be.

We don't need ads or a built-in reader base. We just need to be successful at what we're doing, the rest will take care of itself.

It really is just that simple.

I disagreed with this at length on another thread, basically on trust and advertising cost issues, but let me break it down even further. As a writer of sweet romances, I don't mind my books being on a general bookstore such as Amazon, because there's a leavening (or leveling) effect created by all the various other kinds of books for sale. I actively dislike being on a romance bookstore filled with steamy romances, especially one filled with indie author steamy romances, because I know just how bad their editing is. (Not commenting on writing, just editing.) Also, imagine the horrible covers, ones that make my kind of reader wince. (Well, I don't even have to imagine them. I took a peek at Verve Romance just now and their very first cover on display was exactly one zipper away from porn.)

Volunteer work is hard come by (ask any writers group), yet if there is remuneration for doing the work there will be bad feelings. The people who want power naturally gravitate to the powerful positions, and then there is trouble. Amazon is much better run than the average writers group, trust me.

 
The following users thanked this post: Lorri Moulton

alhawke

Re: Penguin Random House & TikTok Team Up
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2022, 03:52:06 AM »
One of these days indies need to unite and form their own sales platform.
There are stores out there started for Indies for Indies like Eden Books. I'm applying to them now. But it's tough competition for them with Amazon.
The only problem is it needs to be started by a collective of prominent authors with credibility and a huge fan base if it stands any chance of working.
In some ways, authors are doing this. Many are releasing books together. Michael Anderle. He works with other authors adding his name to books. How much he contributes, I don't know. It's an Indie publishing collective of sorts. Is it effective? ??? Ranking wise, it seems to be. I recently saw one who my readers like (I use his name in marketing bb ads), Theophilus Monroe, join him for one of his book series.
 

idontknowyet

Re: Penguin Random House & TikTok Team Up
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2022, 05:46:43 AM »
One of these days indies need to unite and form their own sales platform.
There are stores out there started for Indies for Indies like Eden Books. I'm applying to them now. But it's tough competition for them with Amazon.
The only problem is it needs to be started by a collective of prominent authors with credibility and a huge fan base if it stands any chance of working.
In some ways, authors are doing this. Many are releasing books together. Michael Anderle. He works with other authors adding his name to books. How much he contributes, I don't know. It's an Indie publishing collective of sorts. Is it effective? ??? Ranking wise, it seems to be. I recently saw one who my readers like (I use his name in marketing bb ads), Theophilus Monroe, join him for one of his book series.

The reason they can't compete is size. You have a mega cruise ship vs a dingy.

Now if say 50 of the biggest authors joined forces. With them they carry a huge portion of the reader market. Now instead of a dingy you have a boat fighting a mega cruise ship. That boat can be more nimble and strategic.

Anderle is creating his own publishing house more than his own bookstore.
If anyone looks like they're thinking of it, it would be SPF with hello books. I don't think their ultimate goal is to create another bookbub. I think they might be actually strategically setting up   something bigger in the future. Building that platform of readership to avoid the pitfalls others have seen creating their own online bookstores.

Add to that SPF is very friendly with 20books which by far is the most trusted indie author group. Those two combined with a few other masterminds could create something to compete with amazon.

That is all supposition i have no special inside information. Just what i would do if i were in their place.

« Last Edit: October 01, 2022, 05:49:05 AM by idontknowyet »
 
The following users thanked this post: sliderule, alhawke

idontknowyet

Re: Penguin Random House & TikTok Team Up
« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2022, 06:03:58 AM »
Sorry, I don't agree with your assumptions, but most self-publishers do. My problem with them is they're based on the past and what can't be done, as opposed to the future and what can be.

We don't need ads or a built-in reader base. We just need to be successful at what we're doing, the rest will take care of itself.

It really is just that simple.

simply put any new business needs some historical data to build upon to say this model can work.

Just like in storylines, there are no truly new businesses, just new ways of interpreting old business models. Adding your own spin to it.

You look at major industry disruptors netflix amazon walmart, did they really create anything new or just move an old model in a new direction.

Netflix started out renting movies, just like blockbuster. They added in a deliver to your door option like book clubs or pizza delivery. Each business model already existed.
They capitalized on the fact that convivence is important to people. They took that one step farther with streaming movies. It's a way more convenient model to waiting for a movie to be delivered in the mail.

But the key to those is they provided a service no one else did or they provided it better. (but the business model already existed)
Walmart was all about convience one store for all your needs.
Amazon took that model into your home. which to be honest was something walmart should have done, but could you imagine the monopoly if they did.


If you believe in this model of yours, why don't you do it? Why wait for someone else to? Skills can be learned. If you truly believe someone in their garage could take a bite out of amazon why not do it? (which im not saying they can't, my life is all about the easiest way to accomplish a goal not fighting an uphill battle.)
 

Lorri Moulton

Re: Penguin Random House & TikTok Team Up
« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2022, 06:52:55 AM »
I look at it like retail sales in clothing especially in the 50s and 60s.  You can try to take on a major department store chain or you can open a local boutique specializing in a certain type of clothing and/or buyers.

IMHO (and just IMHO) this is similar to books.  We can try to compete with huge retail outlets, mid-size, etc. or we can open up our own boutique.  Will we sell a lot of books? Who knows until we try? 

I enjoy having my own store.  I make the decisions.  Like any other small business, it's a lot of work and may take a while to really show a profit...but I do enjoy it.

However, I have little to no interest in combining forces and opening a store with other authors.  I am happy to recommend books I enjoy and authors I know, but I don't want to run a business with anyone else.  That would take all the fun out of it for me. 

Author of Romance, Fantasy, Fairytales, Mystery & Suspense, and Historical Non-Fiction @ Lavender Lass Books
 
The following users thanked this post: idontknowyet, ArgyleDonkey

Lorri Moulton

Re: Penguin Random House & TikTok Team Up
« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2022, 06:57:35 AM »
Sorry, I don't agree with your assumptions, but most self-publishers do. My problem with them is they're based on the past and what can't be done, as opposed to the future and what can be.

We don't need ads or a built-in reader base. We just need to be successful at what we're doing, the rest will take care of itself.

It really is just that simple.

I disagreed with this at length on another thread, basically on trust and advertising cost issues, but let me break it down even further. As a writer of sweet romances, I don't mind my books being on a general bookstore such as Amazon, because there's a leavening (or leveling) effect created by all the various other kinds of books for sale. I actively dislike being on a romance bookstore filled with steamy romances, especially one filled with indie author steamy romances, because I know just how bad their editing is. (Not commenting on writing, just editing.) Also, imagine the horrible covers, ones that make my kind of reader wince. (Well, I don't even have to imagine them. I took a peek at Verve Romance just now and their very first cover on display was exactly one zipper away from porn.)

Volunteer work is hard come by (ask any writers group), yet if there is remuneration for doing the work there will be bad feelings. The people who want power naturally gravitate to the powerful positions, and then there is trouble. Amazon is much better run than the average writers group, trust me.

For me it's the steamy romance content and covers.  I know they're popular, but many of my readers are from Hallmark groups on Twitter or know me from Facebook.  They may read steamy romance, but they would never expect if from my books.  Family-friendly G rated, or light PG to regular PG maybe (fade to black) but nothing steamy or beyond.

Author of Romance, Fantasy, Fairytales, Mystery & Suspense, and Historical Non-Fiction @ Lavender Lass Books
 

notthatamanda

Re: Penguin Random House & TikTok Team Up
« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2022, 10:11:11 AM »
It's not easy peasy. And the reason it fails is you need buy in quick.

To get buy in people need to see sales.
In order for this new platform to see sales right away you need three things.
1. ads - and lots of them.
2. a built in reader base
3. and trust



No one trusts joe shmoo author enough to trust them with their livelihood. You need a group of authors with a big enough following to bring their readers in. And enough community support for mid list and other big names to jump on when they start showing success.

You also need something for the community to buy in with.

As story persay. Why is this place better than amazon? Since shipping alone is going to be more than amazon until they build up enough of a market to negotiate lower shipping like amazon does.

Personally i'd use the indie branding. Like the trader joes before it was bought by amazon brand.

The small guys taking on the big brands. Support your single mom writers. Support your neighbor with a story. And so on.

I might even make that a series of ads. Your not funding jeff's next private plane. By purchasing from xyz bookstore you help a mom buy her kids a new pair of shoes. You help a college student pay for their first apartment. Find stories like that to build a brand on.

Make it a nonprofit/coop so that it stays that way.

but thats just me i neither have the money, the time, or the social proof to do any of that.
I learned this week the (US) Postal Service charges less to ship books than other stuff. Unfortunately I was shipping dresses I made, but it was only twelve bucks. The post office guy said they charge less for books because "books are heavy." ?
 

Post-Crisis D

Re: Penguin Random House & TikTok Team Up
« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2022, 11:34:13 AM »
I learned this week the (US) Postal Service charges less to ship books than other stuff. Unfortunately I was shipping dresses I made, but it was only twelve bucks. The post office guy said they charge less for books because "books are heavy." ?

They've had a media rate for as long as I can remember.  It can only be used for stuff like books, CDs/DVDs and other media.  They have a very short list of what qualifies.  Can't be used for stuff that contains advertising, such as magazines.  Contents can be inspected and the sender will be billed regular rates if it's determined to be ineligible for media mail.  It's a cheaper rate but also slower delivery.
Mulder: "If you're distracted by fear of those around you, it keeps you from seeing the actions of those above."
The X-Files: "Blood"
 

LilyBLily

Re: Penguin Random House & TikTok Team Up
« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2022, 12:15:33 PM »
I learned this week the (US) Postal Service charges less to ship books than other stuff. Unfortunately I was shipping dresses I made, but it was only twelve bucks. The post office guy said they charge less for books because "books are heavy." ?

They've had a media rate for as long as I can remember.  It can only be used for stuff like books, CDs/DVDs and other media.  They have a very short list of what qualifies.  Can't be used for stuff that contains advertising, such as magazines.  Contents can be inspected and the sender will be billed regular rates if it's determined to be ineligible for media mail.  It's a cheaper rate but also slower delivery.

Media mail also is not supposed to contain any personal messages. So, no handwritten, chatty cover note. However, I've had no problems with sending an autographed book. When I send a batch of books to a conference to be given away, I enclose a printed copy of the sender's name and address (that's me) and the recipient's as a cover note. As long as it's printed, it passes. Or maybe I've just been lucky.
 

PJ Post

Re: Penguin Random House & TikTok Team Up
« Reply #15 on: October 03, 2022, 02:07:32 AM »
It's not easy peasy. And the reason it fails is you need buy in quick.

But you don't. It's a longer-term play.

Most failures (literal or academically) are because they're trying to out-Amazon Amazon, which is a losing proposition right out of the gate. I keep saying this: the future is not a market of things or possessions, it is increasingly a market of access. We don't need to own a packaged book, physical or virtual, readers, in the aggregate, just want to read them. And that, like the other streaming platforms, is the direction things need to go - a better reading experience, engagement experience and overall entertainment experience.

We're already getting new platforms leaning this way, so we'll get there sooner than later. And when we do, the current rules of the Indie-publishing road won't work anymore.
 

Lorri Moulton

Re: Penguin Random House & TikTok Team Up
« Reply #16 on: October 03, 2022, 02:28:10 AM »
Access vs. ownership.  I've been seeing this debate for quite a while.  I've decided if one doesn't really care about a product or service (let's say it's just momentary enjoyment) then access is fine.  It's easy.  And it can be less expensive.

However, if it's something one might want to access on a more permanent basis, then ownership might be a better option.  Access can be denied, turned off, changed out, or rotated seasonally.  Look at all the movie and TV show streaming services.  Once the service 'owns' our access, we no longer control the product or service. They do. 

Access is allowed.  No matter how much or long you pay for access, it's not the same as ownership.  Something to consider.

Author of Romance, Fantasy, Fairytales, Mystery & Suspense, and Historical Non-Fiction @ Lavender Lass Books
 
The following users thanked this post: Post-Crisis D

PJ Post

Re: Penguin Random House & TikTok Team Up
« Reply #17 on: October 03, 2022, 03:35:46 AM »
But the majority of people (the market), don't really care so much about ownership, including everything from cars and houses to movies, music and books. Almost everything that's ever been recorded or written down is available at a moment's notice, either free or irrelevantly cheap - so why buy it? Store it? Worry about formats? Sideloading?

For example, the automotive industry and all of its ancillary business are about to drive right off a cliff. When self-driving cars become available on demand, we won't need to own one, or fix it, or maintain it, modify it, get inspection stickers or license plates. Sure, a boutique industry will survive, just like boutique printed books, but they won't reflect the majority of the buying public.

Like it or not, this is the future.
 
The following users thanked this post: Lorri Moulton, LBL

Post-Crisis D

Re: Penguin Random House & TikTok Team Up
« Reply #18 on: October 03, 2022, 06:18:55 AM »
Pretty much the only way I can be sure I can watch the 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special is if I get a hold of a bootleg copy.  Otherwise I would have to chance upon it on a file-sharing site before it gets taken down.

Access is never guaranteed.  Ownership is.  If I own a book, I can read it at anytime.  If I only have access to a book, there's no guarantee it will be made available when I want to read it.  If "access" is the future, it may be a temporary future.  It may end up being a future only until people get fed up with having access to things denied by giant corporations for whatever reason.

If the future is classic feudalism where the majority of us are serfs granted access to things by our corporate overlords, we're headed in the wrong direction.
Mulder: "If you're distracted by fear of those around you, it keeps you from seeing the actions of those above."
The X-Files: "Blood"
 
The following users thanked this post: Lorri Moulton, sliderule

Lorri Moulton

Re: Penguin Random House & TikTok Team Up
« Reply #19 on: October 03, 2022, 09:22:33 AM »
And the other challenge...who controls the access?

Access is a privilege, not a right.  It's something that we are 'allowed' to do. We don't have any rights when it comes to access and TOS can usually change at any time.

I just uploaded a revised copy of one of my books.  I added to the epilogue (a page or two) because we're not going to continue the series.

Fine for fiction, not so good for non-fiction, historical books.  Revision can be a dangerous thing, and if the books are not owned but only accessed, then that does seem like a sci-fi story.

Author of Romance, Fantasy, Fairytales, Mystery & Suspense, and Historical Non-Fiction @ Lavender Lass Books
 
The following users thanked this post: Post-Crisis D

Lorri Moulton

Re: Penguin Random House & TikTok Team Up
« Reply #20 on: October 03, 2022, 09:26:14 AM »
PJ does make some good points.  Access is easy, convenient, often instantaneous, and doesn't require the storage.

For some items, I think it's great! But I don't think it's access vs. ownership.  Rather, I prefer to think...what can I do without if access is no longer granted?  That's what I'd rather own.

Author of Romance, Fantasy, Fairytales, Mystery & Suspense, and Historical Non-Fiction @ Lavender Lass Books
 
The following users thanked this post: Post-Crisis D

LilyBLily

Re: Penguin Random House & TikTok Team Up
« Reply #21 on: October 03, 2022, 09:52:16 AM »
Considering just how much stuff people buy, day in and day out, I think plenty of people want ownership of things. Physical things.

Access versus ownership surely waxes and wanes throughout our lifespan. A child may want the certainty of ownership, but then again a child often outgrows possessions and moves on. Adults have their acquisition periods and their downsizing times. I doubt one style will win out over the other permanently for all people at all stages of life. It's a mistake to place one's bets on a total change by the majority of people since we're not all at the same stage. 
 
The following users thanked this post: Lorri Moulton, sliderule

TimothyEllis

  • Forum Owner
  • Administrator
  • Series unlocked
  • ******
  • Posts: 5640
  • Thanked: 2205 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Earth Galaxy core, 2618
    • The Hunter Imperium Universe
Re: Penguin Random House & TikTok Team Up
« Reply #22 on: October 03, 2022, 11:41:40 AM »
Pretty much the only way I can be sure I can watch the 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special is if I get a hold of a bootleg copy.  Otherwise I would have to chance upon it on a file-sharing site before it gets taken down.

Access is never guaranteed.  Ownership is.  If I own a book, I can read it at anytime.  If I only have access to a book, there's no guarantee it will be made available when I want to read it.  If "access" is the future, it may be a temporary future.  It may end up being a future only until people get fed up with having access to things denied by giant corporations for whatever reason.

If the future is classic feudalism where the majority of us are serfs granted access to things by our corporate overlords, we're headed in the wrong direction.

This.

I'm only interested in the access route if everything is available in one place.

The crazy system for tv shows at the moment where they shift providers, and providers only have some of the seasons and not all of them, and the quality is crap, just doesn't work for me.

I was looking for some of my older movies not long ago, wanting BRs or 4Ks of them, and instead found they're not available. Anywhere. In any form. At least I still have the DVDs, can watch them when I want to.

I'm not interested in what I watch being managed by some corporate overlord.

I'm all for ownership.

But the majority of people (the market), don't really care so much about ownership

I'm not really sure where you get that from.

But I guess if you live in highrise land where apartments are small, and the wifi is lightning fast, then this could be a thing. Most of the world doesn't.

I'm curious though.

Are you a read a book once person?

Or a repeatedly read the book person?

The read a book once people like KU where you don't keep the book.

The read repeatedly people prefer ownership, because that's the only way to guarantee the book is there next time you want it.

Genres: Space Opera/Fantasy/Cyberpunk, with elements of LitRPG and GameLit, with a touch of the Supernatural. Also Spiritual and Games.



Timothy Ellis Kindle Author page. | Join the Hunter Legacy mailing list | The Hunter Imperium Universe on Facebook. | Forum Promo Page.
 
The following users thanked this post: Post-Crisis D, sliderule

PJ Post

Re: Penguin Random House & TikTok Team Up
« Reply #23 on: October 03, 2022, 12:43:20 PM »
Pretty much the only way I can be sure I can watch the 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special is if I get a hold of a bootleg copy.

With all due respect, none of us here are the "aggregate".

And...



Considering just how much stuff people buy, day in and day out, I think plenty of people want ownership of things. Physical things.

Increasingly less so in younger generations, especially when it comes to semi-disposable stuff like music, film/tv and books. Spotify is huge for a reason.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2022, 12:48:52 PM by PJ Post »
 

LilyBLily

Re: Penguin Random House & TikTok Team Up
« Reply #24 on: October 04, 2022, 04:19:38 AM »
snip

Increasingly less so in younger generations, especially when it comes to semi-disposable stuff like music, film/tv and books. Spotify is huge for a reason.

You're forgetting that people change. I just listened to a presentation about generations given by Jenna Grinstead and she pointed out how over time, the behavior and aspirations of several recent generations have changed. I distinctly recall young people a while back boasting that they would never buy a house in the suburbs; then interest rates fell and there has been a huge buying spree by that same generation.

On the other hand, owning movies and TV shows is a fairly recent phenomenon driven entirely by technology. There used to be a flourishing underground of people illegally renting each other copies of movies to be run on projectors, but VHS stopped that market cold (except maybe the p*rn part; I'm not up on that market). Then DVDs came in and all movies got very inexpensive, too. Now, perhaps people think it's enough to go to RedBox to rent, or tune in on YouTube to catch their favorite episode of whatever, or get a short-term subscription to Netflix or Disney. But is this the end of ownership of movies and TV? Many people are illegally downloading these very same movies online. It looks more like a circle to me. 
 
The following users thanked this post: Post-Crisis D

PJ Post

Re: Penguin Random House & TikTok Team Up
« Reply #25 on: October 04, 2022, 08:34:25 AM »
In my opinion, yes, this is the beginning of the end of ownership as we've known it. This market shift will completely transform how we live, and do so in ways we can't even imagine right now. And, as a society, we're never going back.
 
The following users thanked this post: LBL

Crystal

Re: Penguin Random House & TikTok Team Up
« Reply #26 on: October 04, 2022, 09:24:36 AM »
Customers prioritize convenience much more than most people guess. Every bit of friction causes a substantial decrease in sales.

Signing up for and trusting a new service... that's asking way too much & it's a PITA. If you accept PayPal or use a familiar service (Square, maybe), it's not as big a deal, but it is SO easy to buy on Amazon. I try not to buy on Amazon and I still end up there all the time. Cause they're out of my lotion at the grocery store. Or I don't want to sign in to the shoe store to buy a new pair of sneakers.

With clothes, I mostly buy from Nordstrom.com. I have to really want something (usually an unusual product: a tall size or an extra wide shoe) to sign up for a new service and learn all its shipping rules, especially after I messed up a return timeline to the tune of a $1500 store credit... It's much easier to just use Nordstrom.
 
The following users thanked this post: ArgyleDonkey

Hopscotch

Re: Penguin Random House & TikTok Team Up
« Reply #27 on: October 04, 2022, 10:01:48 AM »
Gen Z is driving sales of romance books to the top of bestseller lists
NPR.org   Aug 29, 2022

....The success of...contemporary romance writers has been driven in large part by Gen Z readers and social media....

A decade ago, the main demographic for romance was women ages 35 to 54. But in the past several years, that has widened to include women 18 to 54, according to Colleen Hoover's publicist Ariele Fredman.

"Gen Z is a huge audience for romance," she said. "If you think about it, like millennials, their youth has been marked by global and social upset and unrest in many ways, so looking for a happy ever after or an emotional outlet in a book seems like a healthy way of coping."...

Meanwhile, marketing trends, like covering contemporary romance novel jackets with cartoon figures and bright colors, has also helped pull in a younger audience...

Much of the success of the romance genre with Gen Z readers is driven by Book Tok...
 

Bill Hiatt

  • Trilogy unlocked
  • *****
  • Posts: 2442
  • Thanked: 913 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Tickling the imagination one book at a time
    • Bill Hiatt's Author Website
Re: Penguin Random House & TikTok Team Up
« Reply #28 on: October 05, 2022, 01:13:54 AM »
For many indie authors, ebooks rather than print books make up the majority of sales, often by a wide margin. It's important to remember that this is not true of trad authors, and if we include them, the market becomes very different.

We all know industry figures are inaccurate, tending to underrepresent both indie and ebook figures. So I poked around and found a fairly recent Pew Research Poll. https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2022/01/06/three-in-ten-americans-now-read-e-books/ It indicates that 30% of people read at least one ebook in the past year, while 65% read at least one print book. 23% listened to at least one audio book. Obviously, there is overlap among these audiences, as the mean is 14 books per year and the average is five. However, only 9% only read ebooks. 32% only read print books. 33% read some of each. (Note that the figures don't differentiate by purchasing methods, so presumably the ebook total includes buyers and KU or scribd readers).

Since all three formats are widely available, those stats suggest that print books, even though they are typically more expensive, aren't necessarily on their way out. (The bibliophiles I know are nearly all fans of print books, reading ebooks only when they have no choice.) And you can't really rent print books, though some people do check them out from libraries. But there's no digital access for physical products, hence no way they fit into the access model PJ is talking about.

With video, the market is more obviously trending toward streaming, as we can see from examination of sales figures in recent years. https://www.whathifi.com/news/dvd-and-blu-ray-sales-continue-to-nosedive But this article also points out that disk sales are still in the billions, and that vinyl and CDs have both made modest comebacks, which suggests that the movement is more nuanced than a linear trend toward streaming in all things.

As others have said earlier in the discussion, there are forces pulling in both directions. Particularly with video, not everything is available for streaming, and some movies and TV shows are only available on disk. Cost is definitely lower for streaming--one month of Netflix is cheaper than some DVDs. And storage is definitely not an issue. Yet availability if one wants to watch a particular movie or TV show is definitely erratic. I was recently irked when I couldn't finish a 15 season show before its time on Netflix expired. I did finish another 15 season one, only to discover that there are actually 19 seasons, but Netflix only got rights to distribute the first fifteen. On the other hand, Netflix bought the future rights to an ongoing series and is the only outlet for its last two seasons--but the other ones can only be seen elsewhere. If you are content to watch whatever you're offered, Nextflix or a similarly extensive service is a great buy. But if you want to watch particular things, that becomes a much more chancy proposition.

In other words, there are disadvantages to an access-only model. For some things, I'll take access. But when access doesn't give me what I want, then I still want to have the option of buying certain products instead. I would guess many people are the same way.

For books, I was strictly a paper guy until I ran out of space. Then I became more of an ebook guy, but I still buy print in cases where I can't get ebooks or idiosyncratic publishing cases where print is cheaper than e--a situation that still happens more often than you think. But, though I read a lot, I'm not a KU guy. I much prefer to own. As I recall, the last publicly available Data Guy figures suggested that, while KU was huge, book sales on Amazon still far exceeded it.

As far as a new indie platform for books is concerned, I'll pose a simple question. We all know that major trads have all had their issues with Amazon over the years. Yet they never started their own online outlet to compete with Amazon. In fact, one would have thought they could have killed Amazon (back when it was still mostly books) by the simple expedient of not using it. It shouldn't have been hard to draw readers to a Big Five Online Bookstore. If it were the only way to get Stephen King, JK Rowling, etc., readers would theoretically have moved to it in droves. And the Big Five could have offered nice deals to pull smaller publishers in as well, maybe even successful indies.

Yet that never happened. If even The Big Five didn't have the base to compete with (if not destroy) Amazon book sales, why would we expect an indie platform to do better? An indie platform as an additional option for wide authors isn't a bad idea, but I'm sure I see it as a game changer.


Tickling the imagination one book at a time
Bill Hiatt | fiction website | education website | Facebook author page | Twitter
 
The following users thanked this post: Hopscotch

Lorri Moulton

Re: Penguin Random House & TikTok Team Up
« Reply #29 on: October 05, 2022, 01:33:11 AM »
I agree with Lily.  People change as they go through shifts in their priorities.  I've known so many people who couldn't wait to move to the big city.  Then they had kids, and now they are looking for something quieter with good schools in the suburbs.

Does everyone do this? No.  Do enough do it to make a difference in the statistics?  Absolutely.

Ownership not only guarantees some sense of control over our property (there's still eminent domain) but it also instills a sense of responsibility.  Access usually means someone else should take care of the details...which is fine until we realize that corporations are buying up property, and access over ownership might not be a choice for many in the future.  It might be the only option.

Author of Romance, Fantasy, Fairytales, Mystery & Suspense, and Historical Non-Fiction @ Lavender Lass Books
 

Crystal

Re: Penguin Random House & TikTok Team Up
« Reply #30 on: October 05, 2022, 02:52:03 AM »
I don't think Colleen Hoover's publicist is a good source on success for people other than Colleen Hoover.
 
The following users thanked this post: LilyBLily

PJ Post

Re: Penguin Random House & TikTok Team Up
« Reply #31 on: October 05, 2022, 10:32:52 PM »
I'm taking a 30,000 foot view. At ground level everything seems to be more or less the same as it's always been, but the world is changing rapidly.

As for the Big 5 (4?), they've been squeezing the last few pennies from their centuries-old business model for some time now. It's not that they're unaware of the future of publishing or technology, they just don't care, certainly not enough to take on Amazon.

A couple of years ago I said here that the folding phone screen would be a game changer, helping to do away with dedicated devices. They're already coming down in price, so its only a matter of time.

The future has a lot of moving parts, and, imho, they're all pointing toward access over ownership. And I think self-publishers are especially well suited to capitalize on this paradigm shift.
 

TimothyEllis

  • Forum Owner
  • Administrator
  • Series unlocked
  • ******
  • Posts: 5640
  • Thanked: 2205 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Earth Galaxy core, 2618
    • The Hunter Imperium Universe
Re: Penguin Random House & TikTok Team Up
« Reply #32 on: October 05, 2022, 10:42:46 PM »
I'm taking a 30,000 foot view. At ground level everything seems to be more or less the same as it's always been, but the world is changing rapidly.

Yes, but at 30,000 feet, there's no real detail. At least down here we see the detail.

Quote
A couple of years ago I said here that the folding phone screen would be a game changer, helping to do away with dedicated devices. They're already coming down in price, so its only a matter of time.

I don't see the point of a folding phone. Samsung keep sending me emails about it, and I keep deleting them because it looks so stupid.

Quote
paradigm shift.

Every single time I've seen someone come out with 'paradigm shift' or 'new paradigm', they've turned out to be scamming, conning, or trying to take a short cut.

The fastest way of making me cynical about anything is to use the word paradigm.

Quote
The future has a lot of moving parts, and, imho, they're all pointing toward access over ownership.

The day when cancelling your subscription results in them taking all your furniture away, I'll know the inmates are in charge of the asylum.

I'm simply not interested in giving anyone the 'access' power over me.

The word 'subscription' actually means 'nope' to me.
Genres: Space Opera/Fantasy/Cyberpunk, with elements of LitRPG and GameLit, with a touch of the Supernatural. Also Spiritual and Games.



Timothy Ellis Kindle Author page. | Join the Hunter Legacy mailing list | The Hunter Imperium Universe on Facebook. | Forum Promo Page.
 
The following users thanked this post: sliderule

idontknowyet

Re: Penguin Random House & TikTok Team Up
« Reply #33 on: October 06, 2022, 01:13:45 AM »
I'm taking a 30,000 foot view. At ground level everything seems to be more or less the same as it's always been, but the world is changing rapidly.

Yes, but at 30,000 feet, there's no real detail. At least down here we see the detail.

Quote
A couple of years ago I said here that the folding phone screen would be a game changer, helping to do away with dedicated devices. They're already coming down in price, so its only a matter of time.

I don't see the point of a folding phone. Samsung keep sending me emails about it, and I keep deleting them because it looks so stupid.

It's not the folding phone persay. It's the step in technology it represents. When you can fold an entire desktop computer onto a piece of paper the world shifts. When ai develops more, it might cause a shift in movie or game production. They're already experimenting with ai produced books.

Where i disagree with pj is that business doesn't change. Products change, markets change, but the principles of business never do.

 
The following users thanked this post: PJ Post

Post-Crisis D

Re: Penguin Random House & TikTok Team Up
« Reply #34 on: October 06, 2022, 02:59:11 AM »
The word 'subscription' actually means 'nope' to me.

They really need to call them rentals rather than subscriptions.  When you subscribe to a magazine, at the end of the subscription period, they don't make you return any past issues you've kept.  You still have "access" to the content you received during your subscription period.
Mulder: "If you're distracted by fear of those around you, it keeps you from seeing the actions of those above."
The X-Files: "Blood"
 
The following users thanked this post: Lorri Moulton

Lorri Moulton

Re: Penguin Random House & TikTok Team Up
« Reply #35 on: October 06, 2022, 03:56:39 AM »
I guess that's the difference between an 'access' subscription and an 'ownership' subscription.  One lets you see something while the other lets you keep something.

Author of Romance, Fantasy, Fairytales, Mystery & Suspense, and Historical Non-Fiction @ Lavender Lass Books
 

Bill Hiatt

  • Trilogy unlocked
  • *****
  • Posts: 2442
  • Thanked: 913 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Tickling the imagination one book at a time
    • Bill Hiatt's Author Website
Re: Penguin Random House & TikTok Team Up
« Reply #36 on: October 06, 2022, 04:14:09 AM »
In fact, we can to some extent measure what the trends are now--though in publishing, full data is often not available. What we can't be sure of is whether those trends will continue or not. That's why none of us can really be sure what the future will hold.

A few examples will suffice.

Back in ancient times, slide projectors were heralded as a game changer in education. Though useful for a time, they turned out not to be a game changer, and now they are almost extinct, anyway, thanks to a move toward digital content.

Then there was the laser disk player, another game changer. A lot of schools got them because they were supposed to be the coming thing for digital content, a way to have vast libraries available in a comparatively small space. Where are they now? Mostly on the scrap heap.

I can also remember some fairly influential figures in the tech world questioning whether DVDs were just a retread of the unpopular laser disk. Yet they seem to have had a longer lifespan.

Just in tech alone, I could go on for days about this, but I think you see where I'm going. Predictions often get made that don't pan out, sometimes because of developments that couldn't easily be visualized at the time the prediction was made. What we're seeing now with streaming content and subscription models may be the future--or it may all be replaced by something we can't even visualize yet.

I don't think people will ever get over the desire to own things, even as far as entertainment mediums are concerned. Companies may decide to simply take away that choice, but there is always the possibility of backlash that could change the trajectory of the industry.


Tickling the imagination one book at a time
Bill Hiatt | fiction website | education website | Facebook author page | Twitter
 
The following users thanked this post: Post-Crisis D

PJ Post

Re: Penguin Random House & TikTok Team Up
« Reply #37 on: October 06, 2022, 12:05:29 PM »
That's why none of us can really be sure what the future will hold.

But we do have a pretty good idea about future trends. Once the color television became affordable, the black and white market died. Same for smartphones and countless other technologies, from computers to textiles to factories. For example, CNC machines used to be expensive and rare, now they're common. Hand crafted workmanship is increasingly a niche market because the consistency derived from machines is more important than hard work or the personal touch. The bottom line is that when new ways of doing things become widely adopted, beyond limited niche markets, we don't go backward.

The data shows that hundreds of millions, if not billions, of people have overwhelmingly embraced the access model over ownership when it comes to music and film/tv. For example:



And the laser disk was a game changer. Just because the brand failed doesn't mean the technology did. There's a straight line between the initial digitization of media and our current streaming platforms, which includes not only all of the ancillary innovations along the way, but the societal changes that resulted as well.

___

I'm not suggesting that the physical ownership market is dead, just that, for media, it's nearing the end of its lifecycle, whereas the access business model is at the beginning.
 

TimothyEllis

  • Forum Owner
  • Administrator
  • Series unlocked
  • ******
  • Posts: 5640
  • Thanked: 2205 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Earth Galaxy core, 2618
    • The Hunter Imperium Universe
Re: Penguin Random House & TikTok Team Up
« Reply #38 on: October 06, 2022, 12:19:23 PM »
Once the color television became affordable, the black and white market died.

Actually, it didn't.

The black and white tv became the computer monitor, and that lasted for decades more before finally computers caught up to colour tv. B&W tv replaced green screen monitors, and became the standard pretty well until flat screens came along.

And a side thing from that, colour laser printers have not replaced B&W laser printers.

Quote
The data shows that hundreds of millions, if not billions, of people have overwhelmingly embraced the access model over ownership when it comes to music and film/tv.

So explain why the movie industry still decides if a movie was a success or failure based on bums on seats income?

That in spite of Covid lockdowns for nearly 2 years and no access to cinemas, they still haven't changed that model.

If streaming is the future, then why is streaming income worldwide IGNORED when determining how successful a new movie is?

Why has streaming NOT replaced bums on seats completely, post covid?

The logical thing was the movie distributors banding together to create a central site for releasing movies on, with people being able to pre-order the stream or dvd, delivered on release day. It should have totally changed the industry.

It still hasn't happened. Why not?

Quote
I'm not suggesting that the physical ownership market is dead, just that, for media, it's nearing the end of its lifecycle, whereas the access business model is at the beginning.

I'm not seeing that at all.

In spite of streaming becoming popular, those who control the entertainment industry are still mired in the 1920's. They never did embrace dvd's properly. They sure as hell don't want streaming, or the cinema would have died with covid, and gone the way of the drive-in.

Genres: Space Opera/Fantasy/Cyberpunk, with elements of LitRPG and GameLit, with a touch of the Supernatural. Also Spiritual and Games.



Timothy Ellis Kindle Author page. | Join the Hunter Legacy mailing list | The Hunter Imperium Universe on Facebook. | Forum Promo Page.
 
The following users thanked this post: idontknowyet

idontknowyet

Re: Penguin Random House & TikTok Team Up
« Reply #39 on: October 06, 2022, 10:18:29 PM »

So explain why the movie industry still decides if a movie was a success or failure based on bums on seats income?

That in spite of Covid lockdowns for nearly 2 years and no access to cinemas, they still haven't changed that model.

If streaming is the future, then why is streaming income worldwide IGNORED when determining how successful a new movie is?

Why has streaming NOT replaced bums on seats completely, post covid?

The logical thing was the movie distributors banding together to create a central site for releasing movies on, with people being able to pre-order the stream or dvd, delivered on release day. It should have totally changed the industry.

It still hasn't happened. Why not?

Not being a movie executive, my bet would be money. Which sounds counter intuitive. But movies make more money per person in a theatre vs streaming. In a movie theatre a family of 4 pays at minimum $20 to see a movie matinee with zero snacks. Though i would bet most families of 4 spend upwards of $50 to watch a movie in the theatre. Let's say the movie production company gets half of that (i've heard they get almost all of the ticket prices in the beginning.)
We'll figure between $10 and $25 for 4 people the movie actually makes.
Now streaming the entire month is $10-15 regardless of how many movies you watch. Let's say a family watches 2 movies/tv shows a week on their streaming service which is doubtlessly a low estimate.  You would now be talking $1 profit for the production company per family of 4.

Big movies need movie theatres.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2022, 10:21:43 PM by idontknowyet »
 

TimothyEllis

  • Forum Owner
  • Administrator
  • Series unlocked
  • ******
  • Posts: 5640
  • Thanked: 2205 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Earth Galaxy core, 2618
    • The Hunter Imperium Universe
Re: Penguin Random House & TikTok Team Up
« Reply #40 on: October 06, 2022, 10:28:27 PM »
Not being a movie executive, my bet would be money. Which sounds counter intuitive. But movies make more money per person in a theatre vs streaming. In a movie theatre a family of 4 pays at minimum $20 to see a movie matinee with zero snacks. Though i would bet most families of 4 spend upwards of $50 to watch a movie in the theatre. Let's say the movie production company gets half of that (i've heard they get almost all of the ticket prices in the beginning.)
We'll figure between $10 and $25 for 4 people the movie actually makes.
Now streaming the entire month is $10-15 regardless of how many movies you watch. Let's say a family watches 2 movies/tv shows a week on their streaming service which is doubtlessly a low estimate.  You would now be talking $1 profit for the production company per family of 4.

Big movies need movie theatres.

LOL

I hadn't thought of that.

BUT, it also completely turns over the streaming argument too, as even dvd's would make more money on release than streaming would.

And maybe that is the argument.

Streaming doesn't pay as well as ownership does.
Genres: Space Opera/Fantasy/Cyberpunk, with elements of LitRPG and GameLit, with a touch of the Supernatural. Also Spiritual and Games.



Timothy Ellis Kindle Author page. | Join the Hunter Legacy mailing list | The Hunter Imperium Universe on Facebook. | Forum Promo Page.
 

Bill Hiatt

  • Trilogy unlocked
  • *****
  • Posts: 2442
  • Thanked: 913 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Tickling the imagination one book at a time
    • Bill Hiatt's Author Website
Re: Penguin Random House & TikTok Team Up
« Reply #41 on: October 07, 2022, 12:13:46 AM »
Streaming as opposed to ownership may have an appeal to platforms on the basis of volume. A lot of people may not prefer streaming but see it as a more economical choice. I think that's why large numbers of people are flocking to streaming. If they could own all those movies and tv shows for the same price per month as their streaming bill, more of them might well go that way.

In other words, consumer patterns don't always show what people prefer. They may be dominated by what people can afford.

Storage is also a consideration. It's quite possible more people would stick to ownership if they could store their acquisitions more easily. Note that the rise of larger and larger storage devices for cheaper and cheaper prices might end up making downloading look as or more appealing than streaming. (I just picked up a 2TB thumb drive for less than what I paid for 124 GB a few years back.)

Of course, the desire for higher and higher video resolutions may put a wrench in both streaming and digital ownership. As people get pushed into more and more expensive internet plans to accommodate greater and greater bandwidth, the real cost of streaming may go up. (Everybody needs some internet these days, but not everybody needs the ability to stream 8K movies.) But in that case, downloads have the advantage of being a one-time thing per product, whereas rewatching a favorite movie or show requires bandwidth every single time.   

And as far as publishing is concerned, people are interestingly still consuming more books in print format than in ebook format, even though ebooks are typically cheaper. That alone would convince me that the groundswell behind access isn't as strong in the book market, at the very least. Ownership is not fading anywhere near as fast as it is the music industry, for example.

Publishing provides other examples of how the cheapest alternative isn't always what people go for. The bibliophiles I know typically prefer hardcover to paperback, even though hardcover is more expensive.

As far as being able to see future trends, that isn't as clear and linear a process as PJ suggests. Trends have worked out that way in some areas, but not in others. Remember all the hype over delivery drones? How Amazon was going to fly everything right to our doorsteps? But what actually happened was that Amazon invested in its own system of delivery trucks. It's not that drones don't exist or that they don't have their uses. They just didn't end up replacing the delivery infrastructure. The same thing might be said of self-driving cars, at least for now. Of course, that's partly a result of problems with the technology, but those problems weren't all anticipated upfront--which is part of my point. A myriad of issues can change the nature of trends.   


Tickling the imagination one book at a time
Bill Hiatt | fiction website | education website | Facebook author page | Twitter
 

TimothyEllis

  • Forum Owner
  • Administrator
  • Series unlocked
  • ******
  • Posts: 5640
  • Thanked: 2205 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Earth Galaxy core, 2618
    • The Hunter Imperium Universe
Re: Penguin Random House & TikTok Team Up
« Reply #42 on: October 07, 2022, 12:25:59 AM »
Ownership is not fading anywhere near as fast as it is the music industry, for example.

The music industry is different.

Yes, I still want to own my copy of the music, BUT, I've always only wanted 1 to 3 tracks off the whole album.

So these days, I don't buy albums, I buy single tracks. And not enough of them to warrant any sort of subscription account.

I recently ripped all my 80's and 90's albums onto external storage for playing through the computer, and then assembled a folder of the tracks I actually listened to off them. Out of thousands of tracks, there's only 125 in the folder. And those were all I wanted in the first place.
Genres: Space Opera/Fantasy/Cyberpunk, with elements of LitRPG and GameLit, with a touch of the Supernatural. Also Spiritual and Games.



Timothy Ellis Kindle Author page. | Join the Hunter Legacy mailing list | The Hunter Imperium Universe on Facebook. | Forum Promo Page.
 

Post-Crisis D

Re: Penguin Random House & TikTok Team Up
« Reply #43 on: October 07, 2022, 03:42:50 AM »
Video streaming isn't really an "access" vs. "ownership" issue.

There are plenty of things that you may like to watch but you feel no desire to own a copy of.  As an example, there are plenty of shows I enjoy watching reruns of but, when the TV schedule changes and they're dropped/moved, I just watch something else.

In the old days, if you wanted a large selection of stuff to watch, you got cable.  Cable came with a monthly fee and no ownership (unless you recorded something on the VCR).  With your cable subscription, you probably got a movie channel like HBO or Showtime.  So, you could watch a wide variety of stuff and movies too, but you were limited by programming schedules.  If you wanted to watch a specific movie on Friday night, your only option was to rent it (or buy a copy).  So, you headed over to Blockbuster and rented the VHS tape.  Some cable systems later added on-demand viewing options too, but those cost extra but saved you the drive to Blockbuster plus you didn't have to be kind and rewind.

So, in those old days, cable gave you "access" to a large variety of content and then for guaranteed viewings of specific content, you had Blockbuster Video.

Now, there is streaming which gives you the large variety of content like cable but on-demand viewing like Blockbuster Video.

You can call that "access" or whatever, but all it is is a change in delivery method.  And you're still probably paying as much as you did for cable but now you don't have separate fees for watching a movie on-demand.  Everything is on-demand.

So, in the case of video streaming, it's really not fair to say people are preferring the "access" subscription model.  In most cases, they are simply switching from cable to streaming.  In this case, it's not so much as change from ownership to access as it is a change in how people are choosing to get access.
Mulder: "If you're distracted by fear of those around you, it keeps you from seeing the actions of those above."
The X-Files: "Blood"
 
The following users thanked this post: Lorri Moulton, Anarchist

Crystal

Re: Penguin Random House & TikTok Team Up
« Reply #44 on: October 07, 2022, 04:21:34 AM »
DVDs make much less than ticket sales. Any number of people can watch a DVD. Ticket sales are per person.

If you look at the average movie going experience, you have a group of friends, a family, or a date. Few people go to the movies alone, and those people tend to be real film buffs. They may watch blockbusters, but they also watch art house movies, foreign film, independent cinema, etc. They don't represent the average movie goer. (My dad is one of these people. He has the latest version of Movie Pass and though he sees Marvel films, he often says things like "even free isn't worth it." He absolutely loves movies, watches one a day on average, maybe two, and he's retired so he has lots of time).

That's at least two tickets per DVD, and more like 3 or 4 on average.

Production companies HAVE tried to change the theater model to stream on demand, but a) the prices are too high for most consumers (they will charge $30-50 to stream) and b) the theater companies won't have it. Theaters refuse to show movies that are also available to stream on demand. Even with Netflix and other streaming movies, theaters and streamers had to come to an agreement that movies would be exclusive to theaters for a certain amount of time.

But then people aren't really paying for the movie content. They're paying for the experience of a night at the theater with their friends/family. They're paying to be a part of the fan culture.
 

Crystal

Re: Penguin Random House & TikTok Team Up
« Reply #45 on: October 07, 2022, 04:25:57 AM »
Ownership is not fading anywhere near as fast as it is the music industry, for example.

The music industry is different.

Yes, I still want to own my copy of the music, BUT, I've always only wanted 1 to 3 tracks off the whole album.

So these days, I don't buy albums, I buy single tracks. And not enough of them to warrant any sort of subscription account.

I recently ripped all my 80's and 90's albums onto external storage for playing through the computer, and then assembled a folder of the tracks I actually listened to off them. Out of thousands of tracks, there's only 125 in the folder. And those were all I wanted in the first place.

There's a popular belief that piracy killed the music industry, and piracy did hurt sales. But the introduction of iTunes, and the ability to buy single tracks, was the initial blow. I want to say sales dropped by about 40% (compared to 30% for piracy). IIRC this is in a book called Song Machine: Inside the Hit Factory. Check it out if you have any interest in the music industry / pop music. Or in seeing behind the scenes in another creative industry, in general.

The music industry had a strategy of promoting singles to get people to buy albums, so once people had the ability to only buy singles, they had no incentive to buy albums. This lead to the demise of actual albums (when it comes to more popular music). Many pop musicians ONLY record singles or record a very high percent of singles.

I buy albums from my favorite bands to support them, but they only charge $5 for the albums at shows. The ticket prices & merch support them more. (If we're talking smaller acts. Though I'm sure Taylor Swift also makes a lot from merch and ticket sales).
 

Post-Crisis D

Re: Penguin Random House & TikTok Team Up
« Reply #46 on: October 07, 2022, 05:23:10 AM »
The music industry had a strategy of promoting singles to get people to buy albums, so once people had the ability to only buy singles, they had no incentive to buy albums. This lead to the demise of actual albums (when it comes to more popular music). Many pop musicians ONLY record singles or record a very high percent of singles.

I tend to think bad albums led to the demise of albums.  I used to buy a lot of CDs and, though many were compilations, a number were albums.  While there are some albums where the bulk of the songs are good, there are a number of albums where there are only one or two good songs and the rest aren't that great.  Often, they feel like filler material rather than actual attempts at composing good songs.

When I switched to iTunes, I liked the way they did it.  You could buy individual songs, but once you bought a song, you could get the rest of the album for the difference in price.  Of course, the way it looked on the screen was like you were getting a deal because you weren't paying full price (though you were but since you already purchased a song, the album price looked like a discounted price).  And I like completeness too, so if I had purchased maybe three songs on an album, I might as well buy the whole album, you know?  You also had the option of listening to samples of the other songs.

That sort of sampling doesn't always work out.  For a while, I was downloading the song of the week they used to do.  I'd listen to the sample and sometimes be like, hey, cool song, and download.  Then you listen to the whole song and the rest was like, what the heck?

Basically, a lot of times you were buying an album to be able to listen to one or two songs you actually liked.  You wouldn't have purchased the others if you had had the choice.  So, that choice is what iTunes gave us.  I don't know if it's better or worse, but I have seen shorter albums in digital format (where they don't have to try to fill a record or CD) where maybe they have four or five songs and they're all pretty good which leads me to believe this allows artists to focus on creating four or five really good songs instead of four or five good songs and then four or five more to fill the space.

Then you had some musical artists create an actual album experience, where one song segues into the next, so if you're listening to the whole album in sequential order (like you would have on record or cassette), you got the "album experience" rather than just a bunch of songs in a row.
Mulder: "If you're distracted by fear of those around you, it keeps you from seeing the actions of those above."
The X-Files: "Blood"
 

PJ Post

Re: Penguin Random House & TikTok Team Up
« Reply #47 on: October 07, 2022, 06:15:19 AM »
I understand the examples and opinions being offered, but they're just not consistent with the data I'm looking at - over a lot of industries/markets. Many companies are pushing subscription products or trying to integrate some form of subscription service into their branding (access in lieu of ownership). The software industry even has a name for it - SaaS (software as a subscription).


Ownership is not fading anywhere near as fast as it is the music industry, for example.

The music industry is different.



 :shrug

The music industry had a strategy of promoting singles to get people to buy albums, so once people had the ability to only buy singles, they had no incentive to buy albums. This lead to the demise of actual albums (when it comes to more popular music). Many pop musicians ONLY record singles or record a very high percent of singles.

I tend to think bad albums led to the demise of albums...

I'm pretty sure it was the MP3 and online downloads.

Like Crystal said, many musical artists, both Indies and labels, are embracing the single for the same marketing reasons we write in a series.

___

All I'm saying is that there's a tremendous opportunity out there.
 

Crystal

Re: Penguin Random House & TikTok Team Up
« Reply #48 on: October 07, 2022, 07:23:52 AM »
I tend to think bad albums led to the demise of albums.  I used to buy a lot of CDs and, though many were compilations, a number were albums.  While there are some albums where the bulk of the songs are good, there are a number of albums where there are only one or two good songs and the rest aren't that great.  Often, they feel like filler material rather than actual attempts at composing good songs.
...
Then you had some musical artists create an actual album experience, where one song segues into the next, so if you're listening to the whole album in sequential order (like you would have on record or cassette), you got the "album experience" rather than just a bunch of songs in a row.

I think this is a bit nave. After all, before iTunes, plenty of bad albums sold like hotcakes. The market forces encouraged artists (and songwriters) to focus on singles, so they did.

Then, once people could buy only singles, they did, whether the albums were good or not. Granted, I don't have data in front of me, but AFAIK, sales dropped across the board at a similar rate. People bought singles whether an artist wrote a bunch of filler or crafted an amazing album. (I'm sure the rate is higher for less popular artists, but the volume is much lower).

Most people only know singles. Try playing music for a friend who's a similar age (or pick a band that was popular when they were in high school/ middle school). Most people will only recognize singles.

We've seen this many times with KU. People wrote serials when they were paid by the borrow. Then they started writing longer, from 20kish to 50-100k. Then book-stuffing. Then, once bookstuffing was no longer allowed, many started writing EVEN longer, way beyond normal for genre (romance novels 130k+).

People always respond to market forces.

So, yes, maybe the albums became less good, but they became less good for a reason, and part of the reason was that most people didn't actually want or care about good albums. Most people have bad taste. Or average taste. Or no taste. (And half of people will be below average).
 

Bill Hiatt

  • Trilogy unlocked
  • *****
  • Posts: 2442
  • Thanked: 913 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Tickling the imagination one book at a time
    • Bill Hiatt's Author Website
Re: Penguin Random House & TikTok Team Up
« Reply #49 on: October 08, 2022, 12:06:37 AM »
I understand the examples and opinions being offered, but they're just not consistent with the data I'm looking at - over a lot of industries/markets. Many companies are pushing subscription products or trying to integrate some form of subscription service into their branding (access in lieu of ownership). The software industry even has a name for it - SaaS (software as a subscription).


All I'm saying is that there's a tremendous opportunity out there.
Yes, the data in some industries supports your position. Part of the problem is that publishing industry data doesn't, as I've pointed out. Far more people seem to prefer ownership of books to access, as the discrepancy between print and ebook sales, as well as public opinion surveys, demonstrates. If you review your own earlier posts, you'll notice that you often support your position with data from the music industry, which is a considerably different animal. More recently, you've used the software distribution model--again, a significantly different animal.

You've also asserted more than once, without direct evidence, that people prefer access to ownership. However, there's considerable data even in this thread to suggest that it's not so much that people prefer access to ownership as that they can more readily afford access than ownership in some cases. But even though affordability is also an issue with books, KU, as far as we know, still hasn't overtaken sales on Amazon. And where purchase models are concerned, people still prefer print to ebooks in spite of the fact that ebooks are cheaper and create fewer storage concerns. It's clear that the trends in publishing are not as clear as they are in the other industries you're looking at.

I'm not suggesting that access will never overtake ownership in the publishing industry. I'm just not confident that we can be sure what will happen, especially with current trends in publishing being so different from those in other entertainment mediums.


Tickling the imagination one book at a time
Bill Hiatt | fiction website | education website | Facebook author page | Twitter
 
The following users thanked this post: LilyBLily