Is Advertising The Solution To Piracy?

Will advertising in eBooks help fight against piracy? Literary agent Nicholas Croce argues that it is worth trying.

In a blog post from The Gatekeepers Post, he writes: “In ebooks, unlike in print books, ads could work financially. They could be updated digitally, so they could always be current. They could also be much better tailored to the reader’s demographic. Two people reading the same title could effectively view different ads based on a variety of factors.”

Not only does Croce think that ads make sense in eBooks, he also thinks that they could help sales, by lowering the price point and “disincentivizing theft” as well as by generating ad revenue from those copies that are pirated (Croce doesn’t explain how this revenue would be tracked and collected).

Comparing eBook sales to music industry sales, Croce concluded: “As for piracy, advertising could mitigate or even eliminate this growing threat, one of the greatest the publishing industry has ever seen. According to the New York Times, the recording industry sold $14.3 billion it sold in 2000. In 2009, it sold $7.7 billion. In that same year, as somewhat of an omen, the ebook of Dan Brown’s ‘The Lost Symbol’ was pirated over 100,000 times.”