All You Can Read — For a Monthly Fee

E-bookworms oysterhave a lot more to chew on these days.

While some public libraries around the country offer digital copies of books, the selections are generally rather limited. But a pair of new services is putting the entire card catalog at the fingertips of tablet and smartphone owners. Both Scribd and Oyster began offering e-book subscription services this month, giving avid readers access to a library of thousands of titles for a small monthly charge. (Scribd asks $9 per month, while Oyster charges $10.) Call it the Netflix-ization of the literary world.


Redbox Instant keeps focus on movies

The variety-logolooming public launch of Redbox Instant by Verizon appears to be an escalation of the war between Redbox and Netflix. But the streaming service plans to focus on movies, rather than a catalog of TV shows, which could put the companies on parallel paths.

“Movies are the core business of Redbox,” said Redbox CEO Shawn Strickland at CES. “TV is increasingly becoming available via multiple sources, and while there is valuable content there, and our strategy could evolve, we didn’t see there was a clear offering to come out around television.”

Read more at Daily Variety

Top 10 Disruptors Empowering Consumers

Every now and then, a product or business comes along that manages to shift a paradigm, completely changing the way consumers interact with goods and services. Such disruption, though, often comes at the expense of established businesses — and even entire industries.

Apple is arguably the leader in disruption, having completely reshaped the music world with the iPod, led the consumer transition to smartphones with the iPhone and dinged the laptop computer industry with the iPad.


America’s Radio News Network: Aug. 2, 2012

Every Thursday, I join Chris Salcedo and Lori Lundin on the mid-day edition of America’s Radio News Network to discuss trends and news in the technology and video game space. This week’s topics were Amazon’s increasing encroachment on Netflix territory, blocking Olympic spoilers and EA’s decision to take Star Wars: The Old Republic to a free-to-play model.

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Amazon fights multi-front war

Remember when was just an online bookstore?

As the Internet has evolved, Jeff Bezos and company have transformed with it. And while the site is certainly a retail powerhouse and dominates the publishing (and ePublishing) industry, Amazon has become a company with deep interests in other forms of entertainment — and those efforts are starting to bear fruit.

Read more at Daily Variety

The TV’s turn for an extreme makeover

The living room television set is starting to look a little long in the tooth.

With hundreds of TV channels to choose from, thousands of on-demand shows at people’s fingertips (plus thousands more from third-party services like Netflix and Hulu) and a near infinite amount of online content fighting for viewers’ attention, the way consumers interact with their sets is severely outdated.

Read more at Daily Variety

Does the demise of Qwikser mean no game rentals for Netflix?

Plenty of people are celebrating Netflix’ decision to scrub plans to separate its DVD-by-mail and streaming services, but nowhere are the cheers louder than at the corporate HQ of leading video game rental company, GameFly.

In his note announcing the reversal of the controversial decision, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings made no mention of earlier plans to add video games to the company’s rental collection — and many think the plan might have been abandoned.

Read more at Yahoo! Games

Netflix nabs DreamWorks, Amazon signs Fox

After taking a number of body blows following its decision to hike fees and split its streaming and DVD operations, Netflix is rallying back, announcing a groundbreaking agreement giving it exclusive first-run rights for with DreamWorks Animations’ feature films and television specials.

Amazon, meanwhile, responded with a new partnership for its own streaming service, bringing 2,000 Fox films and television episodes to its Amazon Prime Instant Video program.