EBook Rentals – Implications for the Book business

By Manasi Deodhar

The market for EBooks has truly taken off, and at this point, a paid eBook rental service appears to be a natural extension of the technology. While there is the public library system with its small collection and limited number of copies, and certain websites providing rentals on a smaller scale, a full-fledged “all you can eat” eBook rental service is not being offered at this time.

There are two issues that are central to the emergence of the eBook Rentals business — (1) the potential demand for such a service and whether it is large enough to justify the investment and (2) the concern over possible cannibalization of eBook sales and increased piracy. The following frameworks were used to analyze these issues in greater detail — Assessing future markets for new technologies, Commercializing emerging technology through complementary assets, and Scenario Planning.

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