Technology of the Week- Group 39
For the technology of the week, our team (Team 39) decided to compare two players that are examples of platform mediated networks- Amazon Kindle and Blendle. In our two cases, Amazon Kindle and Blendle, we have two distinct groups i.e. the readers and the publishers.
E-book platform Amazon: KINDLE
The Kindle was first introduced by Amazon Inc. in 2007 and changed the way people read books, newspapers and other written work. A Kindle is an e-reader that allows a user to read published work on a small and easy to use handheld device. The Kindle platform is a perfect example of a so-called two-sided market, connecting readers to publishers
Media platform: BLENDLE
Blendle is a Dutch news aggregator, a combination of a newsstand and social media, where people pay for articles from newspapers and magazines. As a two-sided market, Blendle connects journalists with the readers. Users can then buy articles on the website with the use of an online wallet and read those articles on their desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone. It is also possible to share articles, comment on them and ‘like’ other user’s comments, as with Facebook and other social media.
KINDLE vs BLENDLE
Two-Sided Market: While Kindle connects users of books to publishers, Blendle connects readers to journalists and newspaper publishers.
Revenue: Users pay a fixed price to buy the reader device to access Amazon’s online platform, but it can also be accessed via mobile devices. Users pay a small price for each book that they buy in the online shop. Amazon receives a commission on each sold item. For Blendle Users can register and then buy articles on the website with the use of an online wallet and read those articles on their desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone. To pay for articles, users can transfer money via iDeal, credit card or PayPal to their online Blendle wallet.
Advantages: Kindle allows users to find and read books they like on a small piece of technology. Customer is able to store many titles on the reader and take them on the go. Good use during holidays. Publisher can easily distribute a new title and reach a large audience. In Blendle, Users can register through their Facebook account, share articles, and comment on them and ‘like’ other user’s comments. Blendle users also get refund for articles they do not like.
Limitations: Kindle does not allow re-sell or to pass along the book that a customer has bought. For Blendle the limitation is that they offer content only in Dutch.
The likes of platform mediated networks have experienced huge growth in the past decade due to increase in strength of internet and online connectivity. Both Kindle and Blendle have their advantages as they provide a platform to users to access and store their favourite contents online and hassle-free. With increase in number of users shifting to digital reading, both of the platforms show extreme growth potential.