Friday, December 04, 2009
FutureBook: Digital growth could drive out RRP
03.12.09 Catherine Neilan reporting in The Bookseller
The growth in sales of digital content could bring an end to the recommended retail price (RRP) on books, delegates at The Bookseller's digital conference FutureBook heard.
Alexander Ross, partner at specialist media law firm Wiggin, drew applause and vocal approval from members of the audience by suggesting publishers drop the RRP.
He described the current system as being "a stick with which publishers are beaten by retailers". He said: "The music industry has never suggested to a retailer that they sell CDs at a certain price. Publishers are living on the legacy of the NBA."
Ross explained that as the RRP was unenforceable, publishers had no control over the price differential between wholesale and retail. He added: "The music business has always said 'We don't care what price you sell our products at, we will sell at a wholesale price, which we have worked out for us.' It means you take away that stick, which retailers can beat you with."