Rumour: Random House Might Finally Join The iBookstore

It’s only speculation at this point, but it seems that the world’s largest English-language publishing house might finally be joining the iBookstore in the near future. Random House is the world’s largest English-language publisher and the only one of the six major publishing houses to not be offering its titles in Apple’s iBookstore.

Thanks to the publisher deciding to adopt the agency model for ebook sales – a model in which a publisher sets the price for ebooks and allots a certain percentage for retailers – that might change soon:

Under the agency model, publishers set the price for e-book titles with 30 percent of the cost going to the retailer. Sound familiar? That’s the same cut Apple takes of music and apps via its iTunes and App Stores. So, it was perhaps not a surprise that Apple’s iBookstore, launched alongside the iPad last year, also operates under the agency model. Previously, publishers sold titles to retailers for a wholesale price, with the retailers adding a markup of their own.

See where the speculation regarding the iBookstore comes from? Adopting a model similar to the one used by Apple simply leaves the publisher with little of an excuse to keep its titles from that particular online outlet. [Random House (PDF) via PC World]