Tag Archives: content

Books are the core element for creative industries, such as movies, television and theater

2018-08-10

After a movie screening, we all have heard talk among the audience: “This time, the movie really was better than the book”, “I have to read the book”, or “The book was much richer than the movie”. The thing is that it doesn’t matter. In all these cases, a book has been the starting point, the core element, for presenting a story. The Publishers Association in the UK argues that movies and plays based on books attract audiences and generate revenue more convincingly than productions created from other sources.

ballerinas watching at stage in a theater
The Publishers Association has published a report Publishing’s Contribution to the Wider Creative Industries that studies the relationship of business success and popularity among audiences of books, movies, television and theater.

The report has drawn data from academic research, sales numbers and case studies. The key points the report makes are:

Movies based on books make more money than movies based on original screenplays.
Television shows adapted from books attract more viewers than other shows.
Theater plays and musicals rewritten from books make more money than other plays.
Books are a key source of content for movies, television and theater.

Would it be possible that one book series – Harry Potter – has affected to the sales and audience numbers so much that it has skewed the statistics. The Publishers Association’s report doesn’t go in that level of detail, but Harry Potter was the reason for increasing book sales in many markets during the book series’ heydays.
Publishers Association UK, report summarySource: The Publishers Association (UK).
The report concludes (among other points):

Works of fiction and non-fiction are a repository of stories to be discovered by producers, agents and scouts looking for ideas.
Book publishers act as a filter for quality storytelling and help polish and edit manuscripts into fully formed, engaging stories.
Publishers alleviate some of the inherent risk of a screen or stage production by investing in publication of the book, and allowing producers to choose stories which have already shown the ability to engage audiences.
The visibility of a book can make it easier to market an adaptation, using the original, already familiar brand.

What about self-published ebooks, like Hugh Howey’s works, 50 Shades of Grey, or The Martian that have become global success stories? They are a proof that it is possible to bypass the publisher filtering system. It is possible, but really difficult to do and it is rare that it happens, but some cases break through.

The key insight from the Publishers Association’s report is that books really are the centerpieces of content for many media industries. Not only movies, television and theater, but also games and music are often inspired by books.

Via Publishing Perspectives.

EU country Portugal has banned the use of DRM in ebooks in certain cases

2017-10-25

Portugal may not be a forerunner of digital media business within the European Union, but Portugal’s lawmakers have taken a significant step towards consumer friendly digital media and ebooks. Portugal has banned the use of Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology in ebooks when the works are in public domain or they are published by the government.

woman reading an ebook on the beach. Photo by  Michael Mol.
The new restriction for DRM technology in Portugal is included in the law (Law No. 36/2017 of June 2, 2017) that has been effective since June 2017. Three key points that deal with DRM technology in the law are permission to break DRM in certain cases, prohibiting the use of DRM completely in certain cases, and the requirement to have the copyright holder’s permission for the application of DRM.

1. Permission to circumvent DRM protection in digital media products.
In specific fair use cases, anyone is allowed to break or circumvent DRM restrictions in digital products. The cases include reproduction of content for private use, for news reporting, for use by libraries and archives, for teaching and education, in quotation, for persons with disabilities, and for digitizing orphan works.

2. DRM is not allowed at all in specific types of digital products.
The new law prohibits applying DRM to any works that are in public domain and to works published or financed by the government. Citizens are allowed to break DRM in these works if the technology has been applied.

3. Copyright holder must give an explicit permission to the use of DRM.
This may not have a large effect on the business of ebooks since all distribution agreements already include a statement if DRM will be applied to the products and what kind of technology is used.

What is Digital Rights Management (DRM)?

Digital Rights Management is a software technology that is used to control the ways a digital media product, such as an ebook or a movie download can be used by customers. The most common application is to restrict the number of copies a customer can make from an ebook he or she has purchased.

Some big digital media stores, such as the Amazon Kindle Store and the Apple iBooks Store have their own DRM technologies that are built in to the purchase process. Customers don’t see that the products have DRM until a built-in restriction is triggered.

Other stores that use Adobe DRM for controlling the use of downloaded products tend to have issues with the technology. Customers must create an Adobe account and a store account in order to purchase a product, which makes it a somewhat troublesome system.

News about Portugal’s new law via EFF.

Ebooks Are Top 5 Digital Content Type for All Age Groups

2015-06-18

Young generations didn’t grow with printed newspapers, magazines or books, but a mobile phone firmly attached to their hands. It is not a big surprise that the Millennial generation consumes media content on their smartphones whereas Baby Boomers rely on desktops, laptops and even traditional media. Somewhat surprising is, however, that the types of digital content that different age groups like to consume on their computers and mobile devices are almost the same with ebooks at 4th.

The top 4 most consumed content type on a PC and on a mobile device is exactly the same for all generations:
1. Blogs
2. Images
3. Comments
4. Ebooks
The fifth most consumed content type for Millennials is audiobooks, case studies for Generation X, and reviews for Baby Boomers.

digital content types by age group, buzzstream

The survey was conducted by BuzzStream and Fractl who surveyed over 1200 individuals, and classified them into three age groups: Millennials (born between 1977 and 1995), Generation Xers (born between 1965 and 1976), and Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964).

Another, even larger media study was recently conducted by Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. The Digital News Report 2015 – Tracking the Future News surveyed over 20 000 people in 12 countries, focusing on differences in news access between digital and traditional media and between age groups.

The research by Reuters indicates that 45 years is the dividing age in media culture. People who are younger than 45 rely on online news sources, whereas people older than 45 primarily get their news from television.

news sources by age, Reuters
Reuters also discovered that in many countries the Internet already is the primary source for news for all age groups on average. People in Finland, Australia, Denmark, Ireland, USA and Brasil specified the Internet as their number one news media source.

main news sources for media users, Reuters