The Nook is struggling, and its future may not be getting any brighter. The New York Times is reporting that Barnes & Noble will scale back on the production of its own Nook hardware, and instead place a greater emphasis on licensing its line of eReader’s content to third-party partners like Microsoft and Samsung.
“They are not completely getting out of the hardware business, but they are going to lean a lot more on the comprehensive digital catalog of content,” someone familiar with Barnes & Noble’s strategy told The Times. The report says that an announcement of this new focus could come as soon as Thursday.
Now, this doesn’t mean that the Nook will be completely dead by week’s end, but it does show the potential realities of Barnes & Noble’s situation. Products like the Nook HD have received mostly positive responses from critics and users alike, but the sales just haven’t been there, in large part due to the success of Amazon and its Kindle eReaders as well as tablets in general.
The possible move also doesn’t mean that Barnes & Noble as a whole will be dead anytime soon. As The Times points out, the company still “holds roughly one quarter of the digital sales of books and more of magazines.”
The issue here is more with Barnes & Noble in the long term, as consumers continue to move away from physical books and towards digital content distribution. The company has invested loads of cash into the Nook and its subsequent Nook Media division in the past, so the eReader’s recent shortcomings have to be particularly stinging for a company trying to transition to a digital future.
Barnes & Noble has declined to comment on the report, but more should be known when the company releases its third-quarter financial reports this week.
Source: The New York Times