@ eBook Summit: Advertising Is Coming To E-Books

There were a few things that attendees and speakers appeared to have decided on by the end of the two-day MediaBistro eBook Summit: case in point, the $9.99 standard price for a digitized title — as established by the space’s leader, Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) — is not enough to support content creation and distribution. Still, there was no clear idea about what would be a good standard price point. In kind of mirror image of the kind of fevered discussions that goes on at most newspaper conferences, the consensus of the last group of panelists — (pictured, left to right: Random House’s Matt Shatz, Adobe’s Nick Bogaty, and Skiff’s Gil Fuchsberg) was that the future of e-books will likely depend on ad-support to some extent.

Although the books industry has always been the more pure paid content business model, advertising has often played a part, said Shatz, Random House’s VP of digital. He named a few examples belonging to his company, involving the Fodor’s travel guides and ads in the back of pop financial adviser Suze Orman’s books. “Advertising has always played a small part and it will become more prominent for e-books. But it will remain a small part of the digital side as well.”

Fuchsberg, the president of Skiff, was even more certain that advertising will be part of the support system of books general e-reading materials. But he’s certain that if it looks like what’s on the web, the attempts will fail. “If e-books are where more consumers are spending their time, ads will inevitably follow. I just hope it won