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Study Shows Consumers Willing to Pay $5 for Private, Ad-Free Apps

ProtectMyPrivacyPrivacy is the price most consumers pay for free apps, and that’s not always desirable. If given the choice, most consumers would want to opt out of data tracking in order to maintain privacy, and for now that price appears to be a $5 per app. With an average of 23 apps per users, the US app market could rake in around $16 billion – much more than today’s typical in-app advertising with brings in $.15 or less per download.

These numbers come from a recent study by economists at the University of Colorado, Scott J. Savage and Donald M. Waldman. In their study, they were able to evaluate the price of privacy based on the type of information users were willing to pay to keep private or untracked: Read more

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PayPal Galactic Means You Can Finally Make Payments While Traveling to Mars

Sometimes “where on earth…” just doesn’t cut it. I’m talking about buying digital music, paying for ebooks, and catching up on terrestrial bills while planet-hopping. Now there’s Paypal Galactic, who can provide the perfect solution for these interstellar financial transactions. Naturally, space experts like the SETI Institute and former astronaut, Buzz Aldrin are also involved.

Creating a secure and functional commerce system that can operate in space at scale will not be easy, but with the support of the scientific community, other technology companies and the public at large, we hope to find the solutions to address these challenges. This is just the beginning. Specific details still need to be addressed, and we look forward to keeping you updated with our progress and to the day when we are truly able to make space a commercial reality.

What’s a fair transaction fee for interplanetary payments or a good currency with great intergalactic exchange rates? I’m sure someone out there with experience can help me out, because now all I have to do is figure out how to leave the planet.

Wallaby May be Your Wallet’s Best Friend This Holiday

Wallaby is launching on Android today, enabling shoppers to maximize points, airline miles, and cash back simply by showing which cards to use and when.

Wallaby is all about giving you the credit card smarts to optimize each holiday purchase. You should earn all of the cash back, points or miles that you can during this season.  Maximizing points isn’t the only thing to watch out for—you can have some piece of mind with extended warranties and price protection programs.

The app uses geo-location data to show spending rewards. Shoppers still have full choices between which one of their personal cards to use rather than Wallaby’s universal card, a feature they’ve obviously abandoned due to technical and regulatory obstacles.

Via Techcrunch

Justice Dept. Investigating Apple & “Big Six” On eBook Pricing

The Justice Department may sue Apple, Simon & Schuster, Hachette, Pearson, Penguin, Macmillan and HarperCollins Publishers, claiming collusion in eBook pricing.

Reuters has more: “The suit brought on behalf of e-book customers, alleges Apple and the publishers colluded to shift e-book pricing from a wholesale method, where retailers pay for the product and charge what they like, to agency pricing, where publishers would tell retailers what they can charge. The class action lawsuit, filed by law firm Hagens, Berman, Sobol, Shapiro, LLP, accuses Apple of being a ‘hub’ for collusion.”

Last August, consumer rights firm Hagens Berman filed a class action suit in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California against Apple and five of the “big six” publishers with a similar claim. The European Union Commission has also been investigating publishers for eBook price collusion.

Are eBooks Getting More Expensive?

eBook pricing ebbs and flows like the tide and we hear a lot of different pricing ideas from the publishers, authors and readers that we speak to. Some people think that $.99 is the right price to get a reader to try an unknown author and others think that such a low price point makes the book seem unworthy of a reader’s attention. The big publishers succumbed to Amazon’s $9.99 price point, but then adopted the agency model and set their own prices.

So what do prices look like today? According to a story in The Wall Street Journal, eBook prices are up. The WSJ reports: “The price gap between the print and e-versions of some top sellers has now narrowed to within a few dollars—and in some cases, e-books are more expensive than their printed equivalents.” Still as the article goes on to report, the overall price of eBooks has dropped by 11% since 2009. Read more

How To Price Comparison Shop For eBooks

Want to get the best price on digital books? can help. The site aggregates the eBooks by store, price, format and device.

For example, if you search for Stieg Larsson‘s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, you can see that the eBook is available  tells you how much it costs $5.00 from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Sony. It’s $6.99 from BooksOnBoard, $7.99 from the iBookstore and $9.99 from the Diesel eBookstore, and Kobo.

BooksOnBoard has the most different formats. The retailer has the eBooks in the following formats: Adobe Digital Editions PDF, Adobe Digital Editions ePub, eReader, Microsoft Reader and MobiPocket.

UPDATE: It turns out that this price engine is not so effective. If you click through on almost every single one of these, you will find the eBook price is currently $9.99 across retailers (The price only various from UK retailers). Oddly these aren’t even the prices for the print titles at these stores.

Class Action Suit Filed Against Apple & Five Publishers Over eBook Pricing

Today consumer rights firm Hagens Berman filed a class action suit in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California against Apple and five of the “big six” publishers.

The suit alleges that Apple, HarperCollins Publishers, Hachette Book Group, Macmillan Publishers, Penguin Group, and Simon & Schuster “colluded to increase prices for popular e-book titles to boost profits and force e-book rival Amazon to abandon its pro-consumer discount pricing.” The named plaintiffs are Oakland, California resident Anthony Petru and Natchez, Mississippi resident Marcus MathisFollow this link to read more about the suit.

Here’s more about the suit, from the release: “The lawsuit seeks damages for the purchase of e-books, an injunction against pricing e-books with the agency model and forfeiture of the illegal profits received by the defendants as a result of their anticompetitive conduct, which could total tens of millions of dollars.”

Read more

Nathan Bransford Finds Shift In eBook Price Attitudes

In what he admits is an unscientific poll, author Nathan Bransford did a survey about what readers expect to pay for eBooks and the results found that the majority of readers expect to pay less this year than they expected to pay last year.

In February of 2010, Bransford ran a poll on his website asking, “What should an e-book cost when the hardcover is $25.00?” The results were as follows: 5% of respondents thought it should be $.99-4.99; 29% thought it should be $5.00-9.99; 45% thought it should be $10.00-14.99; 15% thought it should be $15.00-19.99; and 3% thought $20-25.00.

This time around readers attitudes shifted towards the lower price points. A whopping 21% thought that the eBook should be $.99-4.99; 51% said $5.00-9.99; 2% thought it should be $15.00-19.99; and no one thought it should be $20-25.00.

What price do you think it should be?

What Is The Right Price For An eBook?

Pricing an eBook is a troubling question. Price it too much and no one will buy it and price it too low and people think it isn’t worth much. We decided to help publishers by looking at the Top 100 paid books in the Kindle store at 1pm ET today (the store updates its metrics hourly), to see how the top ten selling books are priced. It was no surprise to see that the top selling eBook (A Little Death in Dixie) is $.99.

The next few titles are $5 and under. The No. 2 title, The Hunger Games, is $5.00. The No. 3 title Summer Secrets is $4.99. The No. 4 title My Horizontal Life is $1.99. It’s not until position No. 5 that we see a $9.99 eBook The Help, which is a very common price point in the Kindle store. However, once we get to position No. 6- No. 9, we see higher pricing compared to the top four sellers. Catching Fire at No. 6 is $7.70, Mockingjay at No.7 is $7.14, Buried Prey at No. 8 is $12.99, and Something Borrowed at No. 9 is $9.99. The Top 10 is rounded out by Winter Sea, which is priced at $2.99.

By these numbers, it seems that the $.99 price point, the $9.99 price point and something around $5 or $7 are sweet spots, depending on the title. And a $12.99 eBook, still has the potential to make the Top 10 list.

What do you think is the right price for an eBook?

France Imposes eBook Price Controls

France has legislation in the works that would put price controls on eBooks, similar to the controls already in effect in the country for print books.

The San Francisco Chronicle has more: “Yesterday a French parliamentary committee voted unanimously (!) to impose a unique price on eBooks sold in France, even if they’re sold from outside France. This is consistent with earlier regulation, which mandates a single price for dead tree books.”

eBook penetration in France is growing, according to a study that came out earlier this week. The GfK Group polled a thousand French internet users about how they read content, and found that 14% read eBooks. Unfortunately piracy is big in France. According to the study, 39% of those surveyed use online eBookstores, 34% use apps and  29% admitted to being a pirate. Rigid eBook pricing might not help.