Home » The Business of Writing » Readfy to Launch Ad-Subsidized eBook Service Next Year

Readfy to Launch Ad-Subsidized eBook Service Next Year

29 November 2013

From The Digital Reader:

I’ve never thought ads in ebooks would make a viable business model, but sometime next year that idea is going to be put to the test. A new startup in Germany is building an ad-supported platform, and they plan to launch in the middle of 2014.

. . . .

Readfy is going to launch in a more open beta test next year with 25,000 titles. Bauchspiess wants Readfy to offer a Spotify for ebooks that is free for the end user, and not supported by directly charging users for access (a la Netflix).The goal is to let users read as much as they want and pay publishers from the ad revenues.

. . . .

Will they succeed? We’ll have to wait and see because at this point there is little data to argue either way.What little info I have comes from app creators, most of whom say that ad revenues are not a sustainable business model. And Amazon, which has been selling their hardware with an ad-supported option since mid-2011, has never shared their figures.

Link to the rest at The Digital Reader

The Business of Writing

11 Comments to “Readfy to Launch Ad-Subsidized eBook Service Next Year”

  1. Makes no sense to me at all.

    I make about $3 if someone buys a copy of my novel. What kind of market pays $3 per ad, even if it’s not read?

    To work, it would have to massively increase the number of people reading the book, to bring in as much money from lower fees.

    • Coud be. But why does it have to being in the same amount of money per consumer?

      • It doesn’t, as I tried to imply in the last paragraph :). But it would need to bring in enough extra readers to compensate for the lower revenue per reader.

        I’d be surprised if anyone would pay more than a few cents per ad, so that would be a lot of extra readers.

  2. I figure it won’t be long before we see embeddable code that puts sponsored product placements into ebooks.

    Ed walked up to the bar and ordered a (((google adword – beer, domestic, us market))) not knowing how close he came to meeting the bartenders shotgun.

    It could be a different product every time you read it.

  3. mark williams international
  4. So, the basic model is not to sell actual product, but skim money off the sales of other’s products, who are skimming money off other’s products, who are…

    Giving up on that “content is king” idea, I guess. Even better if you can just steal the content or get suckers to give it to you for nothing.

    Sounds like the black hole of financial capitalism to me, collapsing in on itself. Soon, no content will be required. Creating actual products will be the least profitable endeavor of all, people will stop creating anything except advertising and we all die. Now that is innovative thinking.

  5. Just another parasite wanting to feed off the content producers. Sadly, there are authors who will give their hard work away to vermin like this.

    Now, if someone develops an Advertiser Affiliate program specifically for authors (are you listening Commission Junction?), then I could see value. Something like Andrew mentioned above, where the AUTHOR inserts the ad link inside the book and the AUTHOR makes a percentage of revenue. Subtle links to products or brands that might intrigue a reader.

    I don’t know if I would do this for any of my fantasy novels, but it would be a nice option. I could see a better fit with novels set in modern-times or with non-fiction. I could sell a book for an even lower price, making up the difference on ad links later on. But that runs into a whole new problem with Amazon, Apple, Kobo, and so on. They will want a share if they see it being profitable. They already dislike links that go outside their internet gardens. So many hands are stretching toward your wallet…

  6. Oh yes. It’s coming. It’s definitely coming.

    And it could be lucrative for authors. Not looking at the ethics of the thing, or the fact that Publishers will (of course) try to horn in and grab the profits, but smart authors could cut deals for advertisements in the story, between chapters, before the chapters, after the chapters, on the cover. And…product placement, as Edward mentioned.

    Disney already does it with its books. Disney has perfected wrap-around to an art form. Have you ever watched the Disney channel? All the advertisements are for its own products. The books are product placement for the movies, T.V. shows and toys, and the toys are product placement for the books, T.V. shows and movies, and the movies are product placement….etc. A perfect product placement world.

    Oh yes, it’s coming. The gatekeepers are gone, and there is gold in books that the World had not realized, and the corporations are looking up and shifting their beady little eyes in the direction of…books.

  7. Hmmm. All these click-links sound like the much-touted and (probably) over-hyped “new digital world of interactivity” with an emphasis on ad-driven revenue streams in ebooks.

    Time will tell how popular all this is with the reading public in general. But, as a Baby Boomer who grew up on dead-tree reading, I don’t anticipate being wildly enthusiastic about all this. Give me a book (paper or digital) to read without scads of hoopla or irritating distractions designed to separate me from both my money and my infinitely precious time here on Plant Earth. I just want to read, not be pitched to.

    As someone else has already mentioned, there will be apps to filter this stuff out, then ads to work around such apps, then new apps to disable the work-arounds, then… etc. Sounds like an escalating war a la “The Old Woman Who Swallowed A Fly.”

    God help us, everyone! 🙁

  8. Hmm… why so negative? I am a babyboomer, too. Got my bookshelves full of dead trees. There are certainly books, I will want to own in paper form, but besides the sophisticated stuff I read a lot of fiction that is merely entertainment like watching TV. Why not read it for free instead of paying eight bucks per week and per book by a top author?

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