Could user-centric payouts also be applied to book publishing?


Spotify’s former chief economist Will Page is now reportedly writing a book – but he’s certainly writing for The Bookseller, the publishing-industry trade mag. He’s just penned a column exploring whether the user-centric payouts debate that’s currently happening in the music industry might have relevance for authors and book publishing too.

“Just as the music industry is currently assessing the merits of the ‘pro-rata’ and ‘user-centric’ models of distribution of income from streaming, authors and publishers would do well to join the debate,” he wrote, addressing the potential for ‘Spotify-for-books’ style all-you-can-read models.

“When an industry moves from monetising transactions (selling physical CDs or books) to monetising consumption (subscribing for access), what happens when nothing is consumed? It’s an inconvenient truth that an awful lot of books are purchased but not read,” he continued. “If a book is rarely read twice, perhaps the time spent reading should be factored into how authors are paid from the all-you-can-eat bundle…”

Read the full piece here.

Stuart Dredge

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