walkitout (walkitout) wrote,
walkitout
walkitout

other speculation about Malone

http://www.oregonlive.com/business/index.ssf/2011/05/john_malone_bets_on_the_nook_w.html

In this version, the B&N stores become the Nook equivalent of an Apple store, and QVC (also part of the Malone portfolio) integrates with the Nook (along with movies, books, etc.). This coverage dates from May. I had not thought about the QVC aspect. At all. I never really intended to download the Amazon shopping app, but once I did, I got mildly hooked on using the camera to scan a barcode and order an item (only mildly -- I still mostly use the laptop for shopping, but I will occasionally use an iPad). One could imagine a Nook app that you could point at QVC on the TV and have it pull up the detail screen for that item so you could put in things like size and color. That's not interesting to me, but it might be interesting to someone.

http://money.msn.com/market-news/post.aspx?post=d2961023-bef1-448f-a0f4-224f1f7ebf2b

This one points out that Malone owns 40% of Expedia (I hadn't realized HSN and QVC were essentially the same thing -- R. knew, tho). And Expedia has a bunch of apps, not all of which are currently available for the Android but are expected to be soon. This one sounds especially cool:

http://thenextweb.com/apps/2011/07/28/expedia-founders-app-trover-lets-you-share-the-joy-of-discovery/

(Altho I think that's not actually an Expedia branded app, there are a bunch of apps that are expedia branded to help you make and manage travel plans.)

http://www.hdtvmagazine.com/columns/2011/05/hdtv-expert-the-times-they-are-achangin.php

Kinda silly, but focused on the TV/movies in your pocket aspect of a media reader, and that Malone could make money turning the Nook into that.

As I read more and more of these, my belief in this general idea (Malone will cobble sew together his portfolio of companies to turn the Nook into a general purpose media tablet. For cheap.) is fading, partly because of Malone's long history as a value player and partly because B&N did device first and is only backing into an ecosystem, whereas Amazon has put all of the elements of an ecosystem (an app store, a video streaming service, online library management and a cloud that they own to back the whole mess up) out. Apple did sort of 6 of one half a dozen of another approach: the cloud came later, and their online library management is a weird mix of deal-with-it-yourself through iTunes and no-we'll-do-that-for-you for the apps -- I haven't bought books through them for multiple devices so I have no mortal clue how books work through Apple). I'm not saying Malone can't or won't do some variation on what we're all speculating about; I just think the B&N purchase made sense to a value investor, independent of all this speculation. The cold hard truth is that a lot of people still buy paper books and they are _going_ to be buying paper books for a long, long time, and some significant fraction of those people want to do it in person. With Borders definitively out of the picture, B&N owns that space nationally and only has to share it in some areas with independents (yes, Target and Wal-Mart and so forth will sell bestsellers, but only B&N is going to have a deep list on the shelves).
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