Home » Bookstores, Nook » B&N nukes the NOOK with a 15 March deadline for customers to save content

B&N nukes the NOOK with a 15 March deadline for customers to save content

10 March 2016

From diginomica:

While we remain committed to providing a great digital reading experience to our customers, we are exploring all opportunities to reduce costs.

That’s the sound of Barnes and Noble CEO Ron Boire sounding the retreat from the firm’s ill-advised venture into competing with Amazon’s Kindle with its own NOOK e-reader.

While his comments are simply reflective of an ongoing shift away by the firm from its digital disappointment, what is interesting is how many actions are now being taken to achieve this. Boire states bluntly:

Our first priority is to significantly improve NOOK performance. During the third quarter, we reduced NOOK expenses by $25 million and recently took additional action to exit NOOK’s app and video businesses that will result in additional cost savings…we are actively engaged in exploring a number of alternatives to materially reduce NOOK’s expense structure.

It’s easy to see why this is the case. While the third quarter saw B&N turn in increased profits of $80.3 million, up from $72.2 million year-on-year, total sales fell 1.8% to $1.41 billion, attributable in large part to poor online sales offsetting decent offline activity in-store.

. . . .

So action is required – and it’s starting to kick in soon. B&N customers need to get used to some big changes coming up next week – 15 March to be precise. That’s when the firm will no longer offer third party applications from the Nook Store. That’s a decision fuelled by the success of Google’s Play Store which runs on B&N devices and has been inevitably far more successful.

This decision impacts every tablet B&N has ever made, but the company insists that all existing Apps previously downloaded from the NOOK Store will remain in customers Nook Library and will continue to be accessible on compatible Nook devices.

From 15 March, customers will also not be able to rent or purchase video content from the NOOK video store, which will be closed down completely on 30 April. If customers want to keep the content they’ve already purchased, the need to transfer content to other providers.

If you’ve bought Disney, Pixar, Marvel or Star Wars content, you need to open an account with Disney Movies Anywhere, while all other content will now require the opening of a CinemaNow account.  If you haven’t done so by 30 April, you lose the content you’ve purchased.

. . . .

For all this, Boire insists that online remains a core part of the company’s ongoing strategy:

BN.com,represents a big opportunity for us and is a very important component of our omni-channel offering. While we are encouraged the site’s improved performance during the third quarter, we still have work to do to improve sales.

We have undertaken major projects to improve the user experience, including a re-design of the front-end, improving SEO by re-engineering certain elements of the site, and improving BN.com’s search tool so that it’s more relevant and intuitive to the customer’s query.

Link to the rest at diginomica and thanks to Barb for the tip.

Bookstores, Nook

14 Comments to “B&N nukes the NOOK with a 15 March deadline for customers to save content”

  1. “Hey, you have five days before the stuff you paid for disappears forever.”

    Thanks a pantload, Chet!

    • Uh huh. Why I still prefer to buy CD’s. This sort of thing will happen periodically. Changes to the business model, mergers… and the consumer will have to go along with whatever they want, because they have your content hostage.

      • Even physical media isn’t safe any more. Apparently the new 4k Blu-Ray players will require a permanent Internet connection to authorize your player to play the disk when you insert it. When that goes away, your movies do, too.

        So, instead of paying the movie industry $30 for a 4k Blu-Ray disk, I’ll be paying Netflix $9.99 a month and watching whatever movies they have available. Why buy content if you don’t actually own it?

        • When I moved back to Canada from Japan I brought a console game machine back with me. About a third of games I rented from down the street would not play because “This game is not licensed for sale outside North America”. I was in North America.

          I have a large DVD collection. Recently I loaned a Region 1 DVD set to a friend and their fancy new hybrid player refused to play it for licensing reasons. It plays fine on my older Region 1 DVD player. (I also have a region free player.) There seems to be some new player-side DRM that doesn’t recognize older legitimate disc-side DRM. That has to be a programming error, but it’s bad news.

          • The most effective way to combat piracy is to treat your paying customers like criminals.

            I’m done with trying to keep up with the industry’s latest ‘gotta have’ devices. Why should I keep forking out thousands just to support their piracy concerns? The new 4k players probably won’t shake hands with half the TV’s in North America, meaning you need a new flat screen to watch them. My father in law’s relatively new led tv can’t even play blurays because of a faulty HDCP chip.

            Netflix is 9 bucks a month. Just sayin…

            • Yeah, I noticed that, when we bought new Bluray players to replace the ones damaged in a fire last year, they no longer had analogue HD outputs… HDMI was all we got. And the HDMI doesn’t work properly through an HDMI switcher, which we need because, although everything now comes with HDMI, TV manufacturers don’t like to put more than two on a single TV.

              And let’s not forget the completely baffling selection of HDMI variants, so there’s no way to guarantee that your HDMI version 3.1b4 video player with work with your HDMI version XYZ5.1-4k-6GHz-with-ethernet-and-return-audio TV socket.

              Just gotta love DRM…

              • And then there’s the completely BS prices for the cables. Rocketfish seems like the worst offender, with their ‘silver content’ solder, gold plated contacts and ‘In wall’ rating.
                I bought the cheap stuff from Memory Express and ran it through a conduit in my basement wall. Works just fine.

                • The nice thing about digital is it works or it don’t, unlike analog where the cable ‘might’ make a difference. I think I picked up a 6 & 12 foot HDMI pair for ten bucks at Sam’s. They work as well as the $100 monster cables …

    • Yep. At least give customers 2-3 months so it’s not a rush, pain in the neck.

      They just keep making those of us who have Nooks/NookBooks really annoyed. REALLY annnoyed.

  2. Assuming their third-party app and video business works like their (and Amazon’s) third-party book business (i.e., distribute the content for a 30% cut off the top), how could they possibly be losing money on that?

    I got an ad in my email yesterday touting dramatic price reductions on Nook books, and urging me to act now.

    Like fun.

    • I don’t really get it either. With videos, you do have the bandwidth costs to pay, but 30% of a $9.99 movie would cover quite a lot of downloads.

      Still, this is the reason I don’t buy movies on iTunes. The music is DRM-free, so I know it will work as long as the codec is supported, but the videos are DRM-ed, so they’ll only work so long as Apple lets me watch them.

      • I don’t disagree, but I will point out it’s not Apple it’s the studios. Same situation as at Amazon. It’s the publishers who choose to apply DRM to their product and who insist that Amazon (and Apple) have DRM as an option. There is some DRM free movie and TV content on iTunes from small studios or independent producers.

        Apple was able to leverage their dominance of digital music sales to strong arm studios into dropping DRM.

  3. Yet another note in the unending Nook funeral dirge. Just put it out of its misery already.

    I think most Nook customers have already gotten the message and abandoned the platform. My Nook sales continue to drop month by month, while GooglePlay, Kobo and iBooks continue to climb.

    The question is, at what point does it make sense for indie authors to abandon the sinking ship and just pull our books? Is there any hope that some Silicon Valley investor will scoop it up, or is it time to just say #RIPNook?

    • I have 125 NookBooks versus 1000+ Kindle Books. I have 1 Nook Color and 6 Kindles/KindleFires/KindleFireHDs.

      And I really don’t want to lose access to my NookBooks, but damn, they make it harder and harder every year. Can’t read on my laptops (PC and MAC) or desktops (PC and MAC) or my Chromebooks.

      Yesterday, I bought two manga and read them on my 15-inch Toshiba laptop. I did NOT buy them from B&N, cause I can’t read manga on my laptop with them. I bought both from Amazon. Quick download to both PC Kindle Reader app and my Kindle Fire HD. Read comfortably on larger screen.

      It’s really easy to see why I switched over. Amazon tries to make life easier for ebook-buyers, not harder. Now, let me read manga on Cloud Reader, please, Amazon.

      Barnes and Noble: kiss my e-grits.

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