First, we streamed music. Then we streamed movies. And soon, we'll stream digital books. It's the next logical step in the new process of transforming and redefining the publishing/book industry.
Publishers have clung to tradition in how to produce books for as long as possible. Likewise, book distributors and bookstores have hung onto tradition in how to sell books since their business and livelihood depended upon it. Our library systems did the same.
Since the beginning of the printing industry, as far back as Gutenberg's printing press in the late medieval period, books were sold on a per book basis--per unit/item. In our traditional thought process, we think of books as items--things. In the new digital world, books are content, whether it is through streaming words in a visual context or words through an audio context.
Now we have Audiobooks.com where you pay for unlimited streaming of books through the cloud--a flat membership fee of $25 a month. It's the same concept as Netflix's business of streaming movies and Spotify for streaming music. The price is constant regardless of which books you download, regardless of whether you read 5 books or 20 per month, or how many minutes or hours you spend reading.
As one writer pointed out in The Atlantic article, The Future of the Book is the Stream, that streaming books reframes book-buying so that it is less about purchasing a book and more about purchasing an experience.
What are YOUR thoughts about streaming books? How do you think it will affect publishers, authors, and bookstores?