Publishers risk losing sales and “consigning themselves to the past” if they ignore subscription services, providers have warned.
Speaking to The Bookseller Daily, subscription companies Scribd, Blloon, Mofibo and Bookmate have moved to counter recent criticism of the model.
Simon Dunlop, c.e.o. of Bookmate, said: “The huge successes experienced by services such as Netflix and Spotify have clearly shown that for content, subscription services are the way forward. Publishers failing to recognise the growing importance of the subscription model risk consigning themselves to the past.”
Blloon founder Thomas Leliveld said not keeping up with young people’s reading habits would damage future sales. “Hachette ignores the fact that younger people are reading less. Unless the industry offers a reading service they like to use, it will certainly lose steam and revenues 10 to 15 years from now.”
Scribd vice-president for content acquisition Andrew Weinstein said the subscription model had made great strides over the past year. “It’s gone from being an entirely new concept to something that’s embraced by the majority of publishers,” he said. Morten Strunge (pictured left), founder of Mofibo, added: “Subscription is all about convenience, it’s not about price.” Amazon said that it was “encouraged” by the data from its own subscription service.
At the “Publishing for Digital Minds Conference” held on the eve of the fair, Gertrude Smith, digital and marketing manager at Danish publisher Lindhardt og Ringhof, warned that agents were missing a chance to experiment. Smith said: “Where we see some trouble is with the international agents, they have some wording in their contracts that makes it very hard [to include their authors]. We choose to work with the authors and agents who actively want to be there.”