The Leaf Project : An E-Reading Platform Business Plan
The publishing industry is rapidly changing, especially due to the commoditization of portable devices that enable ubiquitous access to information. E-publishing content is a business that is still in an early stage, which means that there are a lot of opportunities for start-ups to come up with innovative business models to challenge the traditional way of publishing content.
The Leaf Project intends to create an e-reading platform that will offer the possibility to stream e-books to computers, tablets, and smartphones. Most options available in the market offer customers the option of buying e-publishing content on an individual basis. However, as seen in the music and movies industry, users tend to access pirate content, unless they see extra benefits in a paid service. Initially, the Leaf Project will offer free content, such as the public domain books that are part of the Project Gutenberg. This will allow us to get real market feedback and gain users. Users will be able to use the platform to publish content, having the option to select between “not-for-profit” and “for-profit”, depending on whether they want to receive royalties for the content they publish. The service will be based on a freemium business model, in which premium users will pay a flat rate rather than per item, in a similar way Spotify and Netflix have done for music and movies. Additionally, in the future we plan to create a community in which writers will be able to establish contact with artists and developers that will help them to enrich their e-books, which will in turn increase the value offered by the content that will be available via the platform.
This master’s thesisis part of the Leaf Project, and it constitutes the business plan for the e-reading platform. The first part explains the different stages in the start-up process, as well as how to evaluate an innovative business idea. Then the business idea is described and the e-reading industry is analyzed to show how attractive this market is. An analysis of the risks that the company might face is performed, and different financial aspects required to operate the company are listed. The report finishes with the conclusions about the outcome of the thesis project as well as with suggestions for future work.
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