• Suggest how Adobe might establish PDF as the de facto eBook standard.
Adobe Systems must establish the portable document format (PDF) as the de facto standard for all printed documents including the developing eBook market. If they do not establish a single dominate position then Microsoft will be able to envelop the entire Adobe product offering. Microsoft can simply bundle their reader with the operating system software on all new equipment. This bundling combined with Microsoft’s strong financial position and competitive drive would begin to destroy Adobe’s current customer base. This serious threat to Adobe’s core business should be countered by adjusting Adobe’s current business model.
Adobe can establish the PDF format as the eBook de facto standard by providing free Acrobat software to its preferred publishers such as R.R. Donnelley and Simon & Schuster. This action will boost the number of publishers using the PDF creation tool and increase demand for Adobe’s print publishing products. The new access to PDF creation will add content to the large installed base of existing material in PDF format from web and commercial publishing sources. This source of PDF documents and the 200 million downloads of the free reader will create consumer demand for access to these documents.
Future revenues will come from the proliferation of PDF Merchant TM digital rights management software required to protect original content from illegal copying. Adobe can increase revenues by continuing the 2% transaction revenue terms for each download. This business model will allow Adobe to participate in the revenue streams from transaction and not just the original software sales. The downloading of material is the primary source of revenues in this emerging market. At 2% per download verses the one time $250 sales of Acrobat, Adobe could significantly change the source of revenues.
The new focus of revenues allows Adobe to build upon previous success...