Fast and Furious
The stories keep coming fast and furious with the Nook and what may happen to this device. The rumblings are that Microsoft, the company that currently owns 17.6 % of Nook Media will buy the rights to the device outright from Barnes & Noble for $1 billion dollars. If there was a bright spot in the Nook saga, this may be the best possible outcome for the troubled reader. In her post on the dbw: Digital Book World website, Deanna Utroske gives this news of the day in her post, Microsoft’s $1 Billion Bid for Nook.
Why would this turn of events be a good conclusion to the Nook story? There are a couple of reasons why this purchase would be mutually beneficial to both sides of the deal:
- Barnes & Noble would get a large infusion of cash that would keep the brick and mortar bookselling giant competitive in the current competitive state.
- Microsoft would discontinue the reader as a viable product, but would market Apps that would make the download of B & N products on other readers a distinct possibility. This would be beneficial to both Microsoft and B & N for future revenue gains and profitability projections.
- The partnership between Microsoft and B & N would create an economic entity that could go toe to toe with Apple and Amazon for consumer dollars. With the infusion of capital from the sale of Apps and the continued sale of ebooks for those Apps, the two companies would be in a much better position to sway consumer dollars into their coffers and away from Apple and Amazon, then they would ever be able to do separately.
Repeat after Me…
As I stated in a previous blog post:
the lack of one competitor on the playing field would be a real drawback in terms of continued innovation in the realm of eBook formulation and dissemination. Having Microsoft shoulder the burden of R and D and B & N providing the formatted content for the Apps would be a win/win in the ongoing strategy to get to a competitive edge.
Nook, Nook, Who’s There?
Another good sign in the midst of this complete turn-around by B & N would be the fact that the viability of the B & N corporate structure would not be compromised in this deal as would happen if the Nook were allowed to Free-Fall into oblivion. In fact, Barnes & Noble will emerge as a much stronger competitor once the smoke clears and winners and losers can be determined. Even if a strategic victory cannot be claimed in the not too distant future, a tactical victory would be a draw and a shoring up of the losses that B & N has incurred since the Nook’s disappointing shows in the holiday marketplace over recent seasons. Staying on the economic battlefield is vastly preferable to having to post the “For Sale” sign and shutting the doors permanently on the 600 + Barnes & Noble stores that are still operating across the United States.
Cal is still keeping Cool…
As Calvin Coolidge said, “The Business of America is Business.” And always keep in mind, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend!” However the deal works out, it will be a good day for those who love and acquire books and work in the book publishing industry.
Follow me on Twitter at: Donald Schmidt@thebookkahuna