Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Late afternoon briefs: Simon & Schuster reports eBooks sales profit growth; Portugal reaches bailout agreement

The publishing unit of CBS, Simon & Schuster, today reported that eBook sales grew a modest 2 percent in the first quarter of 2011, but that total digital sales now account for 18 percent of the unit's business. Revenue grew to $155 million from $152 million last year.
The publisher said its operating income "more than doubled to $7 million, driven by lower shipping, production and returns costs from the significant increase in digital sales as a percentage of total revenues," the company said in its earnings press release.

The caretaker government of Portugal, led by Prime Minister Jose Socrates, announced this afternoon that it had reached deal with officials from the European Commission, European Central Bank and IMF for a bailout worth around 78 billion euros, or $118 billion. The three-year loan agreement has been signed off by opposition parties, according to the BBC.

One of the first apps I looked at here at TNM was for a trade show. Now a company has created a do-it-yourself app development tool. Guidebook allows event organizers to development their own mobile event guide, offering both a free and a premium service.

"Offering a guide for smartphones is quickly becoming a must-have for events," said Guidebook CEO Jeff Lewis. "Event organizers are finding that it no longer makes sense to rely solely on printed schedules and maps that are expensive to create, difficult to update when information changes at the last-minute, and impossible to integrate with interactive features and social media."

The free app allows for only 500 guide downloads, with 1000 more costing $250. The premium package starts at $750, though it too limits downloads to just 2500, with unlimited downloads at $500 additional. This pricing might be fine for most events, though it might be a bit pricey if your event involves some serious techies.

It will be Barcelona in the Champion's League final after it secured a draw against arch rival Real Madrid, advancing 3-1 on aggregate.

You may recall the post here concerning the first match between the two teams when a player was sent off for Real Madrid. That led to a 2-0 victory for Barca at Madrid, making today's result pretty much a fait accompli.

TNM doesn't normally report sports news unless it involves the Giants. But since TNM traffic always spikes whenever there is a non-media story, or when sports and media are combined, I figured it was worth reporting the results today. (The Boston Herald Baseball app was one of the most popular posts here in March.)