My shelves overflow with books. Problem is, I’ve run out of room to store them all.
This practical need for space drove me to e-books. With an e-book reader, you can store thousands of books.
But now the Polish start-up, Legimi, has caught my attention.
This company brands itself as the Spotify for e-books. According to techcrunch.com Legimi “aims [for] users [to] get access to a potentially infinite library of reading material, all accessible via the cloud. But more than that … whether it succeeds or not, [it] epitomizes the collision of old media business models with new technology and new consumer habits.”
That collision comes down to this: For about $10 a month, readers have unlimited access to an inexhaustible collection of books, which can be stored on a tablet. This sounds perfect. The monthly price tag is less than I currently spend on e-books, then again, I’m not your typical e-book reader. Will others buy into Legimi’s plan?
Here’s Legimi’s angle: It banks on free excerpts for profit. With this system, users can read all the free book samples they like, typically about 10 percent of a book. Legimi pays publishers the wholesale price only when a reader goes beyond the free excerpt. Most readers don’t.
‘We have statistically calculated the average consumption for tablet users and smartphone users, which is lower than one book per month,’” explained Legimi CEO Mikolaj Malaczynski. “If you ask about the average consumption of one book per month, I am not sure if it’s a universal figure…we will need to test it market by market, but we have an algorithm to verify it.”
The time has come for such a smart approach to e-books. Pew research recently found that 21 percent of American had read an e-book and that e-readers were consuming an average of eight books more per year than those who stuck with conventional books.
While a gamble, I believe that Legimi may have struck gold. If its instincts are correct and the system works, it will indeed become the Spotify of the e-book world.