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Beth Cox Report: January 2015
Dear Loyal Readers, Authors, and Publishers,
Happy New Year! I hope you're all enjoying 2015 as much as I am.
I'd like to start by reminding every author, publisher, and publicist out there that the post-Christmas months are the "off season" for the Midwest Book Review. That means if you submit your book for review consideration now, then you'll have substantially less competition than usual! By far the number one reason that we have to pass on any submitted book is "too many books, not enough reviewers".
I'm sure that virtually everyone reading this is familiar with how ebooks and digitally distributed music, movies, and video games have revolutionized the publishing industry. Today I stumbled across an intriguing article about the next great change... maybe? The article is "How Long Will It Take Streaming to Dominate the Music Business" at
For those unfamiliar with the concept of "streaming" (I am 99% certain this includes my own parents), I'll quote a definition from Wikipedia: "Streaming media is multimedia that is constantly received by and presented to an end-user while being delivered by a provider. The verb 'to stream' refers to the process of delivering media in this manner; the term refers to the delivery method of the medium rather than the medium itself."
In other words, the media consumer can enjoy the work as it is produced; it does not need to be completely finished before it can be transmitted across the Internet. Most telecommunications media (such as radio or television) have delivery systems that are inherently streaming, which makes watching a "live" TV program possible. Internet television and videos are typically streamed.
An increasingly common pastime among video gamers is to "stream games", uploading a video of their game to the internet as they play it. This allows anyone with an internet connection to watch them play "live", just as anyone with a television can tune in to the Super Bowl live!
The opposite of streamed media is "inherently nonstreaming" media, such as books, video cassettes, audio CDs, or physical video games.
The business article above is about streamed music. This could theoretically be anything from elevator music (one of the earliest examples of media streaming), to "live streaming" (such as direct feed from a live concert), to digital radio platforms such as Pandora (a favorite of my father, incidentally).
What's surprising is how rapidly streaming is growing. Its revenue might not have eclipsed revenue from digitally downloaded music yet, but if current trends continue then that may change in as little as 1-2 years. I'll add one more quote from the article as a teaser, but anyone interested in the music publishing industry should read it thoroughly - it includes spotlights on the music economies of multiple nations (the U.S., the U.K., France, Germany, and Japan).
"To understand why streaming – importantly, including digital radio royalties – could become king of the US market by 2016, first you have to appreciate the decline of the overall market.
As the total US recorded music market has declined in value by some 43% in the past eight years, streaming's percentage of the market has grown from 1.4% to 21%."
Streaming has steadily become more pervasive in the video game market too, especially with the launch of Sony's "Playstation Now" service (which allows customers to play streamed games of their choice from a vast library of options, for a recurring subscription fee). I don't think nonstreaming media will ever disappear entirely, but as more and more people carry powerful smartphones capable of streaming big-budget movies, I expect that streaming publishing services and providers will eventually become omnipresent.
For creating and sharing this data-driven article, I'm naming Music Business Worldwide January's Link of the Month:
My pick for the Review of the Month was already listed in the Writing/Publishing Shelf of the Jim Cox Report, but it's so crucially important to the publishing trade that I want to emphasize it again.
Publishing & Marketing in the Digital Age
Self-Counsel Press Inc.
4152 Meridian Street, Suite 105-471, Bellingham, WA, 98226
9781770401952, $18.95, www.amazon.com
In "Publishing & Marketing in the Digital Age", Debbie Elicksen draws upon her more than 20 years of direct media experience as a content creator and transmedia producer to write a 180 page instructional guide designed specifically for authors and publishers working in an increasingly digital world. "Publishing & Marketing in the Digital Age" covers digitally based content creation, publishing platforms, marketing, funding resource development, website creation, blogging, audio and podcasting, YouTube, webcasts and webinars, social media platforms, Google+, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, transmedia, and public relations. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Publishing & Marketing in the Digital Age" is an informed and informative read that should be considered mandatory for aspiring authors and novice publishers, and which has a great deal of practical value for even the more experienced professionals within the publishing industry.
Social media is such an inexpensive and invaluable marketing tool that anyone in the publishing industry would be well served to acquaint themselves with all its myriad uses. Browsing and keeping Publishing & Marketing in the Digital Age handy for reference is a great place to start!
That's all for the January 2015 Beth Cox Report. I hope you enjoy Super Bowl Sunday (whether or not you watch live football streamed to your TV)!
The Midwest Book Review
James A. Cox
Midwest Book Review
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