Archives For free

Apologies for the long delay between now and my previous blog post.  A lot has happened since; finished my MSc, refining MyLi’s website from prototype to market ready product and much much more.  This post is not really about any of the above but something I felt worth discussing.

Recently, I surprised myself when trying to explain to someone what my venture aims to do. It came to my attention that some are unaware of terms that I thought were common among the general public.  The word is “streaming”.  Fair enough, I understand that I am part of the MSN Messenger generation (for you “whipper-snappers” it was the ‘in’ thing before Facebook and Myspace; I go way back) and think I kept up pretty well up to today.  Streaming is a way of accessing media files by sending/receiving data across the Internet on to your computer device.
Streaming has been around a while.  I remember the days of streaming Internet radio and videos with RealPlayer, then YouTube made it more popular and so on.  At the end of the experience you do not retain any of the files unless you go ahead and purchase your own copy.
I believe that streaming has massive potential in the near future.  Technology is growing in a way that supports the case for this method of access to media, and although it has its disadvantages still, I think they’re not significant enough to put a case against it.  I have drafted out a few of the advantages and disadvantages below; please feel free to reply so that I may update this list, it might even change my stance on it.
Advantages:
  1. Enables sampling without the need to give away free copies; It’s the try before you buy model working at its best,
  2. Provides access without large download files; conserves disk storage space for files we want to access to 24/7,
  3. YouTubeLast.fmSpotifyHuluNetflix and Amazon are moving with the trend and growing popularity of streaming with millions regularly using each,
  4. Accessible anywhere with an Internet connection regardless of the computer device used,
  5. There is potential for streaming to become more appealing with Internet speeds growing meaning high quality media by this means; 4G and Fiber Optic,
  6. There are plenty of companies where you can access a lot of media for free by streaming.
Disadvantages:
  1. It requires a constant Internet connection to enjoy the full experience; no signal can be very annoying especially if you’re really getting into a song or watching a video and it stops,
  2. Likewise, buffering will always be annoying; it is typical of a slow connection to the Internet,
  3. Streaming is a term not known by most and therefore results in lost potential adoption,
  4. Not always free.  Payment models are additional hurdles for users; “Do I fork out additional money on top of what Im already spending for everything else?!”,
  5. This method has been used in the past to illegally share other media format in the past
Streaming is great for many reasons and I have named a few above.  It shows confidence in what you’re trying to sell by allowing it to be streamed you are saying, “I know people will buy it after streaming it because they will like it and want to fully experience it in HD (high-definition), off-line, on demand etc.”
The advantages are growing for streaming, in today’s economy where we pay for disk space (a 16GB tablet computer can be $100 more than an 8GB!), a lot of people are more concerned about accessing media and sampling it however suits them best.  This eliminates the need to locate the free preview and remove from your device, streaming is ‘instant’ (depending on your Internet connection speed) and if you find that what you’re streaming is not for you, you simply move on to the next one.  Simple.  I know its ‘only’ 2 steps less, but its makes all the difference.  Think about it this way, when is the last time you went into your email and begun deleting all your read or junk mail … to save space?  Email accounts have unlimited space nowadays so you don’t bother and streaming is in keeping with these tech’ behavioural patterns.  I think this is just what we do.
I believe that the main strength of streaming media is that it provides access.  The price of media today is high enough to stop us in our tracks to make an informed decision, the days of “it’s only £3.99” are long gone.  Today I find myself saying, “£3.99??  Hmmm, that’s my spotify budget/spa add-on at my gym/my train fare/lunch today…” etc.  Streaming can assist your decision, the same way when you listen to the radio and say, “I like this song, I need it for when I go to the gym”.  Streaming is one of the best ways to sample media at the moment, I’m excited to see what the future has in store for it.  It is even a way of sampling ebooks with companies such as 24symbolsGoogleBooksMyLi and Oyster coming to the scene.
Therefore, make sure that you’re not missing out with what you can do by streaming data over the Internet.  A lot has changed over the last decade (and a bit), and more so for the better.  We’re in the technological era, minus the flying car (I didn’t say flying-motorcycle).
– Eric

In February 2012, we announced Pear Jam Books (PJB) and MyLi would team up to run a pilot programme providing Primary and Secondary schools in the UK with free access to e-books (click to see announcement).

PJB was founded by author, trainer, editor, publisher, storymaker, Jill Marshall in 2011.  As a successful author herself, she learned how authors like to be treated.  Hence Pear jAm; j for Jill and m for Marshall, with a big A for authors, at the heart of the company.

PJB books are all fiction, ranging from picture books through to adult fiction.  They are chosen because they are fantastic stories which MyLi’s target audience can enjoy.  These books can help develop their reading skills which will assist our young readers throughout their life.

The word “Pear”, forming the name of the company pays homage to the four formats in which their books are published:

  • P for play as an app, game or production,
  • E for e-book,
  • A for audio book, and
  • R for Read in the traditional print form.

These books will add value to MyLi’s services and we are looking forward to seeing what the future has in store for this collaboration.