While the digital distribution model has taken a while to get going, it's certainly picked up steam now, as more and more of us find ourselves listening to music through services like Spotify, watching movies through Netflix; we're renting access to content. However, while there's been a big push with movies and music, Ebooks have had less of a look in. Enter Legimi, a digital library that wants you to pay a monthly subscription for access to books.
Like every great idea, it's not the only one attempting it. TechCrunch has pointed out a few stand outs like Safari Books Online, Oyster, Amazon Kindle Owners' Lending Library and a few others. However it's thought that with Legimi, it has a large enough publisher base behind it – the real numbers and names of which are yet to be revealed – that it could be the first to claim that it emulates the Netflix experience, but with books.
This is nothing particularly new though. What is, is the way Legimi handles royalty payments. Every user is given free access to books, with ten percent of each one being counted as a “free sample.” When this is exceeded, Legimi pays the publisher the full wholesale price of the book. The thinking is that in a lot of instances, people won't get this far and therefore, Legimi rakes in the coins without having to pay as much out. A standard business model if ever I heard one.
No word on when exactly the Polish startup will hit the UK, but it's thought that next two markets it plans to enter are Germany and a little tea loving nation. 2013 could be the year of the reader.
KitGuru Says: I quite like the idea of this as a consumer, but I'm not sure if publishers in each region will be as happy with it. Especially since the business model of “we won't need to pay you much,” from Legimi is so transparent.