Christian Schumacher-Gebler – CEO of the German Bonnier Publishing Group- made a description of all the worries that the publishing houses, specially in Germany, are experiencing with the present e-lending systems in public libraries. He participated during the session in Readmagine 22 about the views and business models of publishers and distribution platforms on the present status quo of e-lending and viable business models, moderated by José Manuel Anta (FANDE/IPDA).
Schumacher-Gebler started by a clear statement, pointing that although the ebooks market has grown “but when we look in our turnover or revenues we don’t see the big increase and what we saw is that the main reason for this are, obviously, the e-lending platforms”.
He also clarify that “we love the digital format, it’s not about the digital format, it’s about the revenue streams”, because “the nightmare” for the publishers is that while the 53% of the e-books consumed in booksellers represent the 94% of the revenues, in the case of the 47% of the e-books that represent the consumption in libraries, means only the 6% of the revenue share. Considering the trends the following question for Schumacher-Gebler “How long should we wait that the market comes down to zero?” and the next was “Why should someone buy an e-book when can get the e-book in the library for free?”
Schumacher-Gebler informed the audience that there is the initiative “Fair lessen” (Fair reading) launched by important publishers, booksellers and top authors in Germany that addresses the politicians “that we have a problem here if this trend goes on” and asking the right to decide which books should be in the library service and which not.
After training as a publishing bookseller at Piper Verlag in Munich, Christian Schumacher-Gebler got a degree in business administration at the University of Regensburg in 2001. After his studies, he started his professional life as assistant to the managing director of the German Bonnier Group. From 2004 to 2012 was Managing Director at Ullstein Buchverlage in Berlin.
Since 2013 has been working for the German Bonnier Group as CEO in Munich to champion the interests and growth potential of the group.
In an honorary capacity, he is involved with the FEP and is active on the board of the Committee for Publishers in the German Publishers & Booksellers Association.