Backing for book event to help Sony Reader steal a march on Amazon's Kindle
Mark Sweney reporting in the guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 12 May 2009
Sony UK is aiming to steal a march on Amazon's Kindle in a battle of the ebook readers by sponsoring the Guardian Hay Festival.
The Sony Reader, which launched in the UK in September last year, will be the first consumer electronics sponsor of the 22-year-old festival. Amazon's much-hyped rival Kindle is not yet on the market.
Sony is aiming to win over the 120,000-plus visitors to the literary and arts festival.
Steve Haber, president of the digital reading business division at Sony Electronics, said that the sponsorship would help it "communicate directly with the heart of the literary establishment".
Sony will back a panel discussion – called Brave New World: Rights and Wrongs in the Digital Future – as well as setting up a sponsored venue, Sony Screen, to provide "on-site experiential opportunities" with the Sony Reader.
The device, which can store up to 160 eBooks, will also be available for purchase at the Hay Festival box office.
"Hay is the world's greatest book town and the Reader from Sony is the most exciting development in years for those who love reading," said Peter Florence, director and founder of the festival.
The Guardian, part of the group that also publishes MediaGuardian.co.uk, is the headline sponsor of the Hay Festival.