A person familiar with Barnes & Nobles’s strategy acknowledged that this quarter, which includes holiday sales, has caused executives to realize the company must move away from its program to engineer and build its own devices and focus more on licensing its content to other device makers.
“They are not completely getting out of the hardware business, but they are going to lean a lot more on the comprehensive digital catalog of content,” said this person, who asked not to be identified discussing corporate strategy.
On Thursday, the person said, the company will emphasize its commitment to intensify partnerships with other tablet producers like Microsoft and Samsung to make deals for content that it controls.
Boldfaced emphasis added by me.
Just … wow.
So the Nook is basically going to become an app? What I said earlier?
How absolutely stupid is that?
There is just nothing at all special about what Barnes & Noble offers in terms of eBooks. There are more writers selling via KDP than PubIt! and it will remain that way — because I’ve heard over and over that the sales just aren’t there from B&N.
Its content is its “crown jewel,” said the person familiar with the company’s strategy, “and where the profitable income stream lies.”
Well, B&N better have a damn good idea of how many of those sales are due to their Nook hardware and what the impact will be of dropping that hardware. Because if all people need to read is an app, the New Thing will be instructions for stripping B&N DRM and converting legacy Nookbook libraries to Kindle format.
None of this sounds like a “Fire everything!” strategy.
It sounds like a “Surrender everything” defeat.