Move over Kindle, Sony is throwing its hat into the ePublishing ring. Sony Electronics, which sells e-book devices under the Reader brand, has announced that it will start selling digital books only in the ePub format by the end of the year.
By adopting open standards for ePublishing developed by the International Digital Publishing Form, which are already supported by a growing number of major publishers and a growing number of reading devices, Sony will end its proprietary DRM software (that restricts how often e-books can be shared or copied) in favor of technology from the software maker Adobe.
Benefiting (for and) From Adobe's Platform
Adobe boasts the most from this announcement. The Adobe Content Server 4 emerges as the leading e-book publishing and DRM platform after Amazon’s Kindle platform. Publishers and consumers are bound to benefit more from Adobe's platform in the long run, even though Adobe will be able to collect licensing fees from both ends of the value chain, users will be able to read books bought from Sony’s online store not just on its own device but on the other readers that support ePub, as well.
Evolution of ePublishing
The evolution towards ePublishing has occurred over the past few years, as more and more publishers see the advantages, not just in cost but in exposure of making their books available in a more readable format. As well, the tumultuous print industry has not made things easy for the publishing industry and adapting to ePublishing standards has proven to be a viable strategy as of late.
Earlier this month, GigaOM Pro, a provider of real-time expert industry analysis on emerging technology markets, cited two significant developments among the electronic book market: a breakthrough in the technology for manufacturing reflective electronic paper displays (EPDs) and the availability of reliable 3G wireless broadband networks, which have made it possible to deliver digital books directly to reading devices without having to download the files first.
Now that more companies are developing ePublishing products for readers, interest in new media seems to have been piqued, allowing for an increase in technological advancements, which can only serve to offer consumers and publishers more options.