Polish startup Legimi could be about to inaugurate a highly popular new business model with its plan to become the “Spotify for eBooks”.
E‑commerce managers, web content managers and e‑commerce analysts alike may be intrigued by its new consumption model for the eBook space. Why buy something you’ll probably only use once? Why not pay a modest subscription instead and read whatever you like month in, month out?
What’s new about the Legimi model?
The idea isn’t unprecedented – Amazon’s Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, as its name implies offers a lending service but it’s very limited and light years away from being a “Spotify for eBooks”. Legimi, by contrast, fully intends to harness the power of the cloud to deliver a virtually infinite repertoire of reading material for its subscribers, who can access the content via smartphones, tablets, desktops and internet-enabled TVs.
The startup’s CEO and co-founder, Mikolaj Malaczynski, explains his unique approach, “Our approach is different; we pay the whole price of an eBook once an end-user exceeds its free sample (approximately 10 percent of the book). We have statistically calculated the average consumption for tablet users and smartphone users, which is lower than one book per month.”
According to Legimi’s stats, most readers don’t exceed the free excerpt limit on other titles. But, should they do so, Legimi pays the publisher the full wholesale price of the book. Provided the number of subscribers who read beyond the excerpt limit conforms to the firm’s economic probability statistics, the subscription model could truly take off (and if it does, more publishers are likely to embrace it).
Is Spotify for eBooks coming in 2013?
Malaczynski concedes that the data his firm has gathered on average book consumption (one per month) will need further testing, market by market, to see if it really is universal. He and his team are already doing this research now, using an algorithm designed for that very purpose.
Legimi’s efforts haven’t gone unnoticed – major publishers like Buchmann, Insignis, Muza and W.A.B. are already offering a raft of popular domestic and international titles. And, because publishing’s rights infrastructure is fairly uniform internationally, the startup may well avoid years of intricate negotiations with publishers.
Spotify (or Deezer) for eBooks could well be born in 2013.