Plastic Logic announce content partners: USA Today, Zinio and more

Feb 9, 2009
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Plastic Logic announce content partners: USA Today, Zinio and more

If Amazon thought they'd have the whole ebook reader spotlight today with the launch of the Kindle 2, they'll be pretty disappointed.  Plastic Logic have announced the first content partners for their eponymous Plastic Logic Reader: Fictionwise, the Financial Times, Ingram Digital, LibreDigital, USA Today and Zinio.

Those partnerships mean that Plastic Logic have not only ebooks but enewspapers and emagazines to offer users, once the Reader enters widespread commercial availability in 2010.  The company plan to offer an econtent store, with a range of business and leisure digital content from newspapers, magazines, trade journals, blogs and ebooks, managed by independent retailer Fictionwise.  They're also inviting publishers to sign up to their Plastic Logic Publishers' Program, which will not only advise on content creation and DRM, but distribute media through the econtent store.

The Plastic Logic Reader has a  large e-paper display and unconfirmed wireless connectivity, in a device measuring around 8.5 x 11 inches.  It's expected to go into trials and previews during the second half of 2009, with a full commercial launch following in 2010.

Press Releases:

Plastic Logic Announces First Content Partners for its eReader and eCommerce Content Store

Inks Strategic Deals with the Financial Times and USA TODAY, Plus Pacts with Leading Content Aggregators including Ingram Digital, LibreDigital, and Zinio for Sales and Distribution of Leading Digital Editions of Newspapers, Magazines, Books and More

Partnering with Fictionwise to Build the World’s Most Relevant eContent Store for Business

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA and O’REILLY TOOLS OF CHANGE CONFERENCE, NEW YORK CITY—February 9, 2009—Plastic Logic today announced agreements with its first content partners, including the nation’s leading content aggregators and two of the most valued daily newspapers for business readers. The agreements with Ingram Digital (ebooks), LibreDigital (enewspapers), Zinio (emagazines) and a direct relationship with business newspaper, the Financial Times, and the nation’s top selling newspaper, USA TODAY, lay the foundation for the company to sell and distribute a wealth of content for its forthcoming Plastic Logic Reader.

With these partnerships, plus pending deals and currently available econtent on the web, Plastic Logic’s open platform is building the world’s most relevant collection of digital content for business users on any eReader platform.

The Plastic Logic Reader is a groundbreaking electronic reader that features a large, thin, lightweight and robust form factor that is about the size of an 8.5 x 11-in. pad of paper and weighs less than many print magazines. The Reader is differentiated by its unique and industry-leading plastic display that is based on Plastic Logic’s revolutionary plastic electronics technology.

Concurrent with the release of its electronic reader, Plastic Logic will launch an econtent store where users can download a rich variety of business and leisure digital content from newspapers, magazines, trade journals, blogs, ebooks, etc. Plastic Logic will work with a wide range of content aggregators, publishers and content creators large and small to ensure a broad variety of content. Today, Plastic Logic is also announcing that a central part of Plastic Logic’s online store is its partnership with Fictionwise Inc. to create and run the econtent store. Fictionwise is the leading independent econtent retailer on the web.

“We want Plastic Logic Reader users to have all the content that they need and want at their fingertips,” said Plastic Logic CEO Richard Archuleta. “With today’s announcements we are amassing one of the largest collections of content available for an eReader and we’re just getting started. We intend to create a large and dynamic marketplace to support the Plastic Logic Reader.”

Toward this goal, the company simultaneously announced today the framework for the Plastic Logic Publishers’ Program (See separate press release also issued today: “Plastic Logic Publishers’ Program Enables a Trove of Business and Leisure Content for its eReader.”)

Plastic Logic plans to make its Reader available in trials and pilots with partners and key customers during the second half of 2009, followed by widespread commercial availability in 2010.

Plastic Logic’s First Content Providers Discuss Their Plans

Fictionwise

"Fictionwise is extremely excited to be powering the Plastic Logic content store," commented Steve Pendergrast of Fictionwise, Inc. "Plastic Logic is on the cutting edge of technology and we believe their device is going to shake up the eReader industry. It is uniquely suited for business reading with its large, crisp screen technology."

Fictionwise.com is the largest independent eBook retailer in North America. Fictionwise sells award-winning and high-quality eBooks by top authors in every major eBook format, and they own one of the leading formats, eReader. Established in June 2000, Fictionwise has sold millions of eBooks to hundreds of thousands of loyal customers. Fictionwise operates not only their flagship storefront, Fictionwise.com, but also eReader.com, eBookwise.com, and storefronts for many other companies.

Financial Times

John Ridding, Chief Executive of the Financial Times, commented: “We are delighted to be partnering with Plastic Logic to provide our award winning journalism through its innovative new eReader. Digital distribution is integral to the FT’s strategy as we seek to offer our customers the opportunity to consume FT content across any channel that suits them.”

Plastic Logic is another promising channel for the Financial Times as it continues to seek new ways to distribute its content to customers, boosting digital revenues through growth in FT.com audiences and a new corporate content licensing strategy that has enabled the FT to secure direct agreements with over 350 corporate customers.

The Financial Times, one of the world’s leading business news organisations, is recognised internationally for its authority, integrity and accuracy. Providing extensive news, comment and analysis, the newspaper is printed at 24 print sites across the globe, has a daily circulation of 432,944 (ABC figures, January 2009) and a readership of 1.3 million people worldwide. FT.com is the definitive home for business intelligence on the web, providing an essential source of news, comment, data and analysis for the global business community. FT.com attracts 7.1 million unique users, generating 72 million page views (ABCe figures, March 2008) and has over one million registered users.

Ingram Digital

“By partnering with Plastic Logic, we continue to advance our mission of expanding access to premium digital content to the widest possible audience,” commented Andrew Weinstein, vice president and general manager of Ingram Digital’s Retail Solutions. “We are excited to be collaborating with Plastic Logic to deliver a superior experience to its eReader users, and add this leading edge technology to the range of devices we support.”

Ingram Digital is a leading provider of solutions for digital content hosting, management, distribution and promotion. Ingram Digital is an Ingram content company. The Ingram content companies provide a broad range of physical and digital services to the book industry, and immediate access to the largest selection of books and book-related products in the industry. The content companies are Ingram Digital, Lightning Source Inc., Ingram Book Company, Ingram International Inc., Ingram Library Services Inc., Coutts Information Services, Ingram Periodicals Inc., Ingram Publisher Services Inc., Spring Arbor Distributors Inc., and Tennessee Book Company LLC.

LibreDigital

“Newspaper and econtent fans will love the portable, durable and full-page format of the Plastic Logic Reader,” noted Russell P. Reeder, President and CEO of LibreDigital. “Working with Plastic Logic, we can deliver digital content on-demand to its content store, ensuring that people have access to hundreds of the world’s top newspapers and econtent from the day they turn on their new devices.”

For nearly a decade LibreDigital has helped some of the world’s top publishers to deliver true-to-print replicas of their content across an expanding array of digital channels, including eReaders, search engines, online stores and mobile devices

USA TODAY

“Plastic Logic has created an exciting new platform for publishers to reach new and existing readers” said Jeff Webber, publisher of USATODAY.com. “USA TODAY is looking forward to working with Plastic Logic and extending the reach of our content to a wider audience through their innovative and distinctive technology.”

USA TODAY is the nation's top-selling newspaper, with a total average daily circulation of 2.3 million. USA TODAY is available worldwide. USA TODAY is published by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI). The USA TODAY brand also includes: USATODAY.com, an award-winning news and information Web site that is updated 24 hours per day; USA TODAY Sports Weekly, a magazine for enthusiasts of college and professional football and baseball; USA TODAY Mobile, offering up-to-the minute news and information on a variety of mobile platforms and devices; and USA TODAY LIVE, the television arm of the USA TODAY brand that brings the spirit and quality of the newspaper to television.

Zinio

“As a pioneer in the digital publishing space for almost a decade, we hold a great deal of respect and excitement for the innovation that Plastic Logic is introducing to consumers with their reader,” said Rich Maggiotto, Zinio’s CEO and President. “Plastic Logic’s initiatives help redefine the publishing industry’s digital role.”

Zinio is the global leader in digital and interactive publishing products and services, with over 1,000 digital magazine titles currently in its stable. As a worldwide distributor, Zinio has offices in San Francisco and New York and distribution partners across the globe. Zinio's partners include Bonnier, Hearst, IDG, Gruner + Jahr, Hachette Filipacchi, IPC Media, Mariah Media, McGraw-Hill, The National Magazine Company, Playboy Enterprises, Rogers Publishing and Ziff Davis.

About Plastic Logic

Plastic Logic’s mission is to lead the plastic electronics revolution, and the way people acquire, organize and consume information. We are using our proprietary technology leadership in plastic electronics to create a range of innovative products. Our first product, an eReader for business focused on reading digital content, will enter the marketplace in 2010.

Founded in 2000 by researchers out of the Cambridge University Cavendish Laboratory, the Company has received more than $200 million in funding from leading international technology firms and investors. Plastic Logic has research and development in Cambridge, England; high-volume, state-of-the-art manufacturing in Dresden, Germany; and executive management, product engineering, sales and marketing headquartered in Mountain View, California. For more information please go to http://www.plasticlogic.com.

Plastic Logic Publishers’ Program Enables a Trove of Business and Leisure Content for its eReader

Open Platform Encourages Publishers Large and Small to Publish and Distribute Books, Newspapers, Magazines and Blogs for the New Plastic Logic Reader

Will Deliver on Plastic Logic’s Goal to Build the Most Relevant Business Content for Business Users

O’Reilly Tools of Change Conference, NYC and Mountain View, CA—Feb. 9, 2009—Plastic Logic today announced the creation of the Plastic Logic Publishers’ Program to enable all content creators, publishers and content aggregators to easily create, format, sell and distribute content for easy viewing and use on the Plastic Logic Reader.

“With our open platform, we intend to create a large, dynamic market for eReader content. We want content authors large and small – from big companies to self -publishers – to publish for the Plastic Logic Reader,” said Plastic Logic CEO Richard Archuleta. “Foremost, we aim to provide our publishing partners with the tools and information that they need to be onboard at our product’s launch.”

Plastic Logic plans to make its eReader, specifically targeted to mobile business professionals, available in trials and pilots with partners and key customers during the second half of 2009, followed by widespread commercial availability in 2010.

Publishers interested in participating in the Plastic Logic Publishers’ Program should go to http://www.plasticlogic.com and fill out the online form.

The Plastic Logic Publishers’ Program has two major components:

Content creation, format and protection information

Plastic Logic will provide information on creating content, document formats supported, common layout conventions, style guides, and the use of Digital Rights Management (DRM). The information is intended to make sure publishers, enterprises, and organizations can create content for viewing on the Plastic Logic Reader.

In support of this effort, Plastic Logic is also announcing today it is licensing Adobe technology to provide PDF, EPUB and Adobe DRM/eBook support on the device.

· Content sales and distribution through the Plastic Logic econtent store

Plastic Logic announced plans to launch a content store concurrently with the Plastic Logic Reader. The Company will work with a wide range of content aggregators, publishers and content creators large and small to offer a wide range of business and leisure content including newspapers, magazines, trade journals, blogs and ebooks at launch.

Today, Plastic Logic also announced the first partners to distribute and sell content via its store, including the Financial Times, USA TODAY and leading content aggregators including Ingram Digital, LibreDigital, and Zinio for sales and distribution of leading digital editions of newspapers, magazines, books and more. The Company is also working with Fictionwise to build its econtent store. (See related press release also issued today: “Plastic Logic Announces First Content Partners for its eReader and eCommerce Content Store.”)

An eReader Form Factor That’s Perfect for Publishers

The Plastic Logic Reader is a groundbreaking electronic reader that features a large, thin, lightweight and robust form factor that is about the size of an 8.5 x 11-in. pad of paper and weighs less than many print magazines. The Reader is differentiated by its unique and industry-leading flexible plastic display that is based on Plastic Logic’s pioneering plastic electronics technology.

“We have received an overwhelmingly positive response to our eReader from the publishing industry," said Daren Benzi, vice president of business development for Plastic Logic. "Today, we are proud to announce our first group of partnerships with several industry leading companies. Our goal is to provide our innovative eReader as a platform to help our partners reach new markets and develop new customer relationships. The Plastic Logic Reader, with our thin, large and lightweight display, opens up new possibilities for the publishing industry and provides consumers with a rich content, brand and customer experience."

“Our open platform for content, formats, applications and additional focus on advertising, makes Plastic Logic an ideal partner for publishers and content providers that want to serve consumers in new and exciting ways," Benzi added.

About Plastic Logic

Plastic Logic’s mission is to lead the plastic electronics revolution, and the way people acquire, organize and consume information. We are using our proprietary technology leadership in plastic electronics to create a range of innovative products. Our first product, an eReader for business focused on reading digital content, will enter the marketplace in 2010.

Founded in 2000 by researchers out of the Cambridge University Cavendish Laboratory, the Company has received more than $200 million in funding from leading international technology firms and investors. Plastic Logic has research and development in Cambridge, England; high-volume, state-of-the-art manufacturing in Dresden, Germany; and executive management, product engineering, sales and marketing headquartered in Mountain View, California. For more information please go to http://www.plasticlogic.com.


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