Monthly Archives: November 2014

Books VS Ebooks


    Article 1: “Required Reading: as textbook prices soar, students try to cope   Students are striving between collage fees and textbook fees due to the expensiveness of these materials. “With the average student shelling out $1,200 a year just on books, students, professors and policy groups are searching for ways to circumvent the high cost of traditional textbooks” (Required Reading: as textbook prices soar, students try to cope, by Martha C. White). This shows that students are clearly spending a lot on books. Some students are falling behind in learning due to their lack of textbooks. This strongly affects their class grades and education level. Some students also tried borrowing and renting books, but didn’t find that as practical as owning a book of their own. Article 2: “EBooks and cost pressures push college students away from textbooks   Many students and teachers are switching from printed textbooks to digital ones. Since digital textbooks are cheaper, more easy to transport, and yet efficient to many students out there. Unlike printed textbooks, which are much more expensive and physically heavier. “Local schools around the U.S. have started experimenting with digital textbooks and resources” (EBooks and cost pressures push college students away from textbooks, by Ellen Lee). This clarifies that schools are trying to work around their students’ needs in order for them to have the best education. In addition, it shows that schools are also willing to take chances and risks in order to make it fair for all of the students. The production of interactive textbooks is taking place too. This does not only allow students to read the material, but also watch videos, listen to audios, write sample quizzes, and share notes with each other. “A survey released last year by the Pearson Foundation found that 63 percent of college students and 69 percent of high school students believe that traditional textbooks will be phased out in the next five years” (EBooks and cost pressures push college students away from textbooks, by Ellen Lee). This shows that students are not interested in printed textbooks anymore; however, they are much more interested and look forward in digital ones. Also, many organizations are switching to digital textbooks due to their realization that students prefer it better and no longer have any interest in the traditional textbooks. Article 3:Why college students still prefer print over e-books A couple of Universities have tried EBooks instead of printable textbooks for a semester. The students have showed many interesting results concerning this change. “Students reported problems with readability, complained of eyestrain, and said the e-books were not fully compatible with all mobile devices” (Why college students still prefer print over e-books, by Katrina Schwartz). This basically clarifies that the students were suffering instead of being helped. Aside from all that, students claim that they’d still choose e-books over textbooks due to financial costs. Also, it’s a much easier transporter than textbooks.   Article 4: Academic e-books: Will they ever take off?   This article talks about students that use e-books as reference or as a quick review guide. They always go back to textbooks due to the physical appearance of it. Also, this makes it easier for them to read and study from. “The invention of this technology doesn’t mean that people don’t want physical books. They just want digital copies as well” (Academic e-books: Will they ever take off?, by Roberta Wiafe). Basically, e-books are used just as a second choice. Unlike textbooks, have more impact on students. My Opinion:   In my opinion, I think that e-books will replace printed textbooks in schools and universities. EBooks are cheaper, lighter, and more practical to students. Due to advanced technology, it would be much easier for students to use e-books since technology is already being apart of their daily lives. Also, many students suffer from loosing their textbooks, but that will not be a problem with e-books because with technology you can put apps that can find your other devices. Textbooks will also be replaced because technology is expanding fast and people are getting used to electronics more than books, which leads to students being more interested in e-books than printed textbooks. Also, the whole paper industry is suffering due to these ebooks, as well as huge newspapers like the New York Times have offered their newspapers on iPads and apps, because everyone is moving towards technology where more than one book and newspaper can be held in the same place without having one to move.


Streaming and the Future of Music


Streaming and the Future of Music

I think that music streaming using players like Spotify and YouTube have and will continue to transform the music industry. Based on Taylor Swift’s major move to remove her old albums from Spotify, record labels are clearly worried about the negative impact of record sales. This is also shown when Adele’s manager suggested that Spotify “may need to change its policy of insisting all albums be made available on both its free and premium tiers.” To my understanding, if you have Spotify premium, you can download music, listen without interruption, and get better quality recordings. I don’t think that those are big enough incentives for many people to pay for Spotify premium, however it appears that the company is doing very well in Europe, as Lauren Davidson’s article in the Telegraph showed that Spotify made more money than iTunes in the first quarter of 2014.
One point I found very interesting is why Spotify is seen as the villain and not YouTube, as Adele’s manager also mentioned: “On the one hand, labels are trumpeting YouTube as a marketing tool: 10 million views on YouTube and it’s a marketing stroke of genius. But on the other hand they’re looking at 10 million streams on Spotify and saying that’s x amount of lost sales.” Spotify may seem worse because you can instantly download using their site, whereas with YouTube you’d need to go to another online source that turns YouTube media into mp3s (the recording is usually awful). It seems rather odd that Spotify can allow users to download music for a monthly fee, instead of a by album or by song purchasing system like the one in iTunes. I understand from these articles that artist do get paid each time someone streams their song, pennies If I recall correctly, but that is obviously a lot less than getting a 10 dollar purchase of the album from iTunes. So artists can either take their chances with record sales, or hope that enough people stream or download their work on Spotify in larger numbers so it offsets the lower royalty payment, or their “cut”.
I think the main question that will determine to what extent services like Spotify change the music industry will come with analysis of cases like Taylor Swfit. Did she make more money with or without Spotify? The article by Nicholas Carlson on Business Insider spoke very strongly against the more traditional view of record sales and making money off of musicians, held by people like Taylor Swift’s record label CEO Scott Borchetta. He has the plain view that if people can download the album, why would they buy it in stores? Of course the article points out that people in general don’t buy CDs anymore, especially not the younger audiences of Taylor Swift. However, it appears that Swift is so extremely popular that she can choose where her music is available, and the people will follow. Looking at how much she made on Spotify over a period of time versus how much she makes when a record launches analysts might be able to find the raw numbers to answer the question. Yet, Swift is an exception to the rule, so what she does is up to her and she probably won’t lose a cent or any sleep over the decision, but for other less known artists, Spotify seems to open new and potentially lucrative doors.