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WPP’s VML, DMC Worldwide partner on eReader commerce platform

January 15, 2010

Copia eReader enters mobile content space

Copia eReader enters mobile content space

DMC Worldwide has unveiled Copia, which it claims is the first social eReading experience to come to market.

Copia provides an open platform for delivering ebooks and entertainment content, enabling collaborative social experiences, viral word-of-mouth spread of content and mobile commerce. Copia is a next-generation ebook marketplace—with social functionality built in, enabling conversations with consumers’ friends and fellow enthusiasts.

“The first and most distinguishing aspect of Copia is that it’s the first truly social eReading experience,” said Mike Lundgren, director of innovation and strategy at VML, Kansas City, MO. “We’ve introduced six devices with six- and nine-inch screens, some with touchscreens, all with WiFi and 3G options, as well as a very rich user interface and navigation experience.

“Navigating content is a very similar experience to an online content portal,” he said. “The objective of the entire program is to create a strong balance between content and commerce, collaboration and community.

“The primary model is paid content, but it will support the ePub environment and PDFs, and there is a lot of public domain content as well.”

VML is a marketing agency. It delivers digital experiences for brands such as Accenture, AMC Theatres, Avid Technologies and Carlson Hotels Worldwide.

Distribution Management Consolidators Worldwide, known as DMC Worldwide, is an enterprise and consumer technology company that invests in, develops, manufactures and distributes consumer electronics products.

Is print dying?
With Copia’s open platform, DMC Worldwide is attempting to reinvent the way consumers experience content—combining information, social networking and mobile commerce with an array of wireless eReader devices to deliver an experience centered around shared discovery.

The Copia platform is a hybrid service for consumers of all ages to experience a new way to discover, read, share and buy books, newspapers, magazines and other digital content.

To buy a piece of content, consumers can enter their credit card via the device, application or Web site.

At launch the digital rights management platform is Adobe DRM.

The Copia portal will have more than a million ebooks and at least 14,000 newspapers and magazines at launch.

The partners are leveraging the Google books project plus publishing relationships, including a partnership with Ingram Digital, an aggregator of physical and digital book content.

DMC is also looking to form partnerships with original equipment manufacturers for preinstallation and other distribution opportunities.

The proposed price-point range for the Copia devices is between $199 and $299, with a May or June timeframe for device availability.

Prior to that, DMC Worldwide will launch versions for Mac and PC, and it is developing an iPhone application as well.

Mr. Lundgren said that he also sees a lot of potential for devices based on Google’s Android operating system, as well as other smartphones.

Copia is also a software application engine for original equipment manufacturer brands looking to deliver content across their digital devices such as eReaders, notebooks, netbooks, tablets and smartphones.

“DMC Worldwide calls Copia the ‘We Reader,’ which is appropriate,” Mr. Lundgren said. “You see items that were picked for you based on past purchase behavior, and you also see items friends have bought.”

This is partly accomplished through the Copia community itself, but also via Facebook Connect, Twitter Connect and LinkedIn APIs.

“It’s very important to not make people choose between existing social-networking communities and a new community,” Mr. Lundgren said.

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Dan Butcher is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach him at

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