Rockstand, Handygo’s ebook and magazine storefront has tied-up with the Ingram Content Group for e-book content. Ingram has a publisher network and claims to provide books, music and media content to over 39,000 retailers, libraries, schools and distribution partners in 220 countries and territories. According to its website, more than 30,000 publishers use Ingram’s fully integrated physical and digital distribution, logistics, and manufacturing solutions to access global consumer demand. Rockstand retails e-books and e-magazines, with billing integration with telecom operators like Airtel, Vodafone and Idea cellular. Last year, it tied up with publishers like VJM Media Group (magazines like Hi! Blitz, OK! India, and Cine Blitz), Network 18 Publications and Kalki Magazine for content.
It’s not clear as to how exactly this partnership will work, and how many publishers actually come on Rockstand’s platform as a result of this partnership:
1. How many publishers? Rockstand clarified to MediaNama that not all publishers will be sharing content with the platform. A Rockstand exec told MediaNama via email that “Exact numbers will be difficult to share but all 30000 publisher do not even go digital.” The company declined to share names of publishers whose content could make it to Rockstand.
2. What exactly is this deal about? It wasn’t clear whether Rockstand can choose which books to pull in for sale on its platform, or whether publishers will merely have Rockstand as an option for distribution (in which case, it’s up to them). The ability for publishers to distribute isn’t the same as Rockstand having the right to sell all books from Ingram’s catalog. We also asked Rockstand to clarify on how this deal works from a territorial rights perspective. The Rockstand exec wrote back saying that this is a “It is a content sharing agreement, publishers that are listed with Ingram will be able to distribute their content through our platform. It does not require us to connect with these publishers individually.” and “In that case, Ingram will be sharing the ‘digital’ form of content only, with respect to geographical territory sales rights for all the publisher’s for which it has the rights of digital distribution. We are a platform where all that is shared on the portal is saleable.”
Also note, that Flipkart had signed a similar content deal with US-based content distribution network Publish On Demand Global (PODG). As part of this deal, Flipkart will offer PODG content like e-books, mobile books and tablet books for purchase on its site and eBook app. PODG claims to currently have tie-ups with more than 10,000 authors and publishers globally. However, this includes print tie-ups as well, which is not part of the current deal.
We’ll update in case we hear from Rockstand.