Monday, August 12, 2013

MediaWeek (V7, No 33) Belle de Jour and "Boy", Thoughts on Pricing, DA Information Administration + More

Girl: I am a prostitute! Man: I never knew. Now I look stupid! Indeed. (Daily Mail)
At first Owen was unaware that he was in a relationship with the anonymous blogger, who was gathering thousands of readers with apparently true tales of prostitution.
He says: ‘I knew she was writing a blog as she was often typing away but she said it was science fiction and I believed her. I didn’t read it and I had no idea what it actually was.
‘But in spring 2004, I thought she’d been writing down things I said so I put one of my exact phrases into Google – something extremely unique – and the blog popped up. I was absolutely horrified.  'I remember sitting on a bench feeling numb and shocked with that silly [J Geils Band] song going round in my head – “My girlfriend is a centrefold”.
'But I didn’t actually realise I was in it as all my quotes were as clients, and I didn’t think she was actually a prostitute.’
Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Interesting article on pricing theories from The Economist:
WHEN bosses promise to make their companies more profitable they usually say they will do so by increasing sales or cutting costs. But a third road to profits is rarely mentioned: putting prices up. Managers often fail to ask how they might do better at plucking the goose to obtain the most feathers with the least hissing. The spiel from the management consultants who advise companies on pricing—whether specialists like Simon-Kucher or giant generalists like PWC—is that it is now more vital than ever to be smart at it. In today’s austere age many businesses cannot depend on rising sales volumes to lift their profits. As for cutting costs, most have already pared them to the bone. Prices are all that is left. And a business can do a lot with clever pricing, to boost its share of the limited spending-power that is out there.  
Makers of high-tech products such as smartphones can opt to add whizzy new features and push up prices. In the case of luxury goods, their exclusivity is a large part of their appeal, and this in turn is a function of their price, so firms usually have scope for limiting supply and charging more: Ferrari, a sports-car maker, and Mulberry, a purveyor of posh bags, have both recently signalled that they plan to do just that. But raising prices by making products better or more exclusive is a strategic decision, open to only a few types of business. For all sorts of mundane goods and services there is much that can be done tactically, the consultants say, to charge more for the same thing.
By the time this eBook case gets done it won't matter. Here's the publisher's filing opposing the penalties imposed on Apple for contesting the DOJ case against the publishers. (Apple Insider)

DA Information Services in Australia has gone into administration (SmartCompany)
An academic book publishing company with $40 million in turnover has now collapsed in administration, yet another sign the print and publishing industries are continuing to face severe transition pains.  The news comes after discount book group allbooks4less also fell into administration last week, following an aggressive expansion plan.
Publishers have commented bookstores and booksellers have struggled to prop up book prices in the face of dynamic online competition.  DA Information Services Group, which contains the businesses Information Specialists, DA Information Services Pty and Central Book Services, has been placed into administration.  The company claims to be Australia’s largest locally based full service academic library supplier, providing books, journals, eBooks and other media products for professional purposes across Australia and New Zealand.  The business was founded 60 years ago. Customers include academic libraries, research facilities, medical centres, government departments, universities and TAFEs, along with law libraries.
From the TwitterFeed this week:
Digital libraries are developing from the old model.
Bauer under renewed fire over magazines that glorify Nazi regime
Philip Hensher: There’s nothing out of date about duty (and other words).
Google results will now show 3 in-depth articles - topics include censorship and Legos  

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