Barnes and Noble’s Nook Continues to Unravel
After an on again, off again history regarding the device going back to 2013, Barnes and Noble appear to have moved one step closer to ending the Nook story, closing a chapter in their history that has not offered great return.
While we remain committed to providing a great digital reading experience to our customers, we are exploring all opportunities to reduce costs.
That’s the sound of Barnes and Noble CEO Ron Boire sounding the retreat from the firm’s ill-advised venture into competing with Amazon’s Kindle with its own NOOK e-reader…
…So action is required – and it’s starting to kick in soon. B&N customers need to get used to some big changes coming up next week – 15 March to be precise. That’s when the firm will no longer offer third party applications from the Nook Store. That’s a decision fuelled by the success of Google’s Play Store which runs on B&N devices and has been inevitably far more successful.
This decision impacts every tablet B&N has ever made, but the company insists that all existing Apps previously downloaded from the NOOK Store will remain in customers Nook Library and will continue to be accessible on compatible Nook devices.
From 15 March, customers will also not be able to rent or purchase video content from the NOOK video store, which will be closed down completely on 30 April. If customers want to keep the content they’ve already purchased, they need to transfer content to other providers.
If you’ve bought Disney, Pixar, Marvel or Star Wars content, you need to open an account with Disney Movies Anywhere, while all other content will now require the opening of a CinemaNow account. If you haven’t done so by 30 April, you lose the content you’ve purchased.
Meanwhile in the UK, e-books will no longer be supported by B&N. Instead, customers need to open an account with supermarket chain Sainsbury’s… [emphasis added]
A UK report has customers there accessing contenting from a grocery store chain:
…The company has signed a deal with UK supermarket chain Sainsbury’s, so that the customers can continue to access their content Sainsbury’s Entertainment on Demand…
…Starting 31 May, the option to download purchases and synchronize Nook libraries will be discontinued.
Following the transfer of service onto Sainsbury’s app, customers will be able to access a vast majority of Nook books, which will be available for download and read.
If the existing purchases are in stock, customers won’t need to purchase them again. Vouchers will be made available for non-transferable titles…
I have mixed feelings about this. As brick-and-mortar bookstore owner, I obviously have greater affection for print, and see the demise of an eBook platform as confirmation that the printed book will be around longer than the doomsayers predicted about a decade ago.
On the other hand, it’s also another win for Amazon, whose Kindle will now hold even greater market domination.
For consumers, it’s a reminder that holding your library electronically can be fraught with perils. A week ago at Thinking Out Loud, I wrote about the dangers of having your family memories in forms dependent on current technology; in my parent’s day it was their choice to use slides and 8mm movies instead of print; but the principle is still the same. You may read that article at this link.