It seems that book publishers are losing their power to price discriminate using versioning in the same way that iTunes has almost fatally damaged the ability of the recording industry to bundle songs using albums. Picador has announced that it will from next year launch 80% of new books in paperback. Publisher Andrew Kidd told The Guardian: "Over the last few years publishers have witnessed sales of literary fiction in hardback reaching new lows. All of us find that depressing, and there are, frankly, no reasons to think the situation might soon reverse itself."
In better news for creative types, the booming live music scene is leading to the opening of a whole series of new venues. This is being driven both by new acts like the Arctic Monkeys, and reunion tours by groups such as the Police (who last year grossed more than £83.8m from 53 shows seen by more than 1.5 million people.) Mintel estimated the 2006 value of the UK's live music industry at £743m.
Recording companies are going to have to move extremely quickly if they are to avoid total disintermediation.