Importance of Online Communities to Publishers - Bowker Research
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Importance of Online Communities to Publishers - Bowker Research

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In this study conducted by Bowker Research for Publishing Technology, trade and academic publishers revealed that online communities were of increasing significance to their businesses, with 90% of ...

In this study conducted by Bowker Research for Publishing Technology, trade and academic publishers revealed that online communities were of increasing significance to their businesses, with 90% of publishers expecting to run at least one by 2015.

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Importance of Online Communities to Publishers - Bowker Research Importance of Online Communities to Publishers - Bowker Research Presentation Transcript

  • Online CommunitiesA study for Publishing Technology Key findings: April 2013
  • BackgroundIn both the UK and the US trade and academic publishers are striving to engage and build closer relationships withtheir audiences online. Many are discovering that building online communities is an effective, direct way to enticeand maintain their interest.In order to benchmark activity in this area, and to provide information on its likely growth, Publishing Technologycommissioned Bowker Market Research to undertaken a research project to investigate:• Numbers of communities currently hosted by publishers• Key benefits of such communities• Whether publishers believe their investment is paying off• What impact, if any, such investment is having on sales• Future investment plansFor the purposes of this survey, online communities are described as:A publisher-owned website/platform that offers a common interest around which the community is themed, withinteractive communication between the organisation and community members and between the membersthemselves. This might include online communities which use fan sites in order to help build their member base,but not fan sites themselves that are dedicated to an individual author, series or title.This report provides the key data from this study.
  • Methodology• Online questionnaire devised by Bowker Market Research• Survey undertaken in late March 2013• Invitation to participate sent to broad range of trade and academic publishers in both the UK and the US• Responses received from 49 companies: see Appendix for sample demographics 2
  • Two-thirds of responding publishers have some OCs now; this is likely to rise toover 90% by 2015. Trade publishers are more advanced, but A&P will be movingheavily into the market by 2015. At least two-thirds expect to have more OCs by2015: just one respondents expect to see a decline.Q Currently, how many online communities does your company/division own/host now and how many might it have by the end of 2015? % Average number hosted/ expect to host 2.1 1.7 2.9 2.4 1.7 5.0 5.0 5.1 6.3 3.2 100 12 6 10 14 15 7 or more 18 12 25 24 10 31 80 16 38 21 20 18 15 5 or 6 21 14 20 25 60 14 10 21 15 3 or 4 19 33 6 18 24 27 40 13 6 21 38 1 or 2 40 55 20 31 30 31 31 30 31 24 None 14 10 6 6 6 3 0 Total now UK now US now Trade nowA&P now o Total 2015 UK 2015 US 2015Trade 2015 A&P 2015 3
  • While large companies have/expect to have the most OCs, small companieshave/anticipate having higher numbers than medium ones.Q Currently, how many online communities does your company/division own/host now and how many might it have by the end of 2015? % Average number 2.3 1.1 3.9 5.4 3.6 7.1 100 14 7 or more 19 16 21 5 33 80 10 14 5 or 6 32 56 21 60 24 38 33 3 or 4 21 11 40 11 1 or 2 11 32 38 22 20 37 33 11 None 11 11 11 0 5 Small now Medium now Large now ab Column2 Small 2015 Medium 2015 Large 2015 Base: all 4
  • Trade publishers are much more like to have OCS currently, but A&P activity is likely to grow significantly, with only marginal movement into children’s. Q In what areas of publishing do you currently own/host online communities Q In what areas of publishing will your own/host online communities by the end of 2015? Trade Academic & Professional Childrens Other A&P 2015 11 94 Trade 2015 78 19 26 11 All with OC now US 2015 43 50 21 14 UK 2015 55 48 13 3 Total 2015 51 49 16 7 abColumn2 A&P now 22 89 Trade now 76 8 16 4All with OC in 2015 US now 64 18 9 9 UK now 61 35 13 4 Total now 62 29 12 6 % 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 5
  • Social networking and author-reader interaction are the most importantaspect of OCs for trade publishers, while collaboration, discussion groupsand professional networking are highly relevant to A&P publishers. 79 Social networking 92 44 65 Interaction between authors and readers 68 56 41 Discussion groups 32 67 35 Collaboration (e.g. between writers, academics, etc) 20 78 Total 26 Professional netowrking 12 67 Trade 6 A&P Other 4 11 % Q What is the focus of the communities 0 20 40 60 80 100 that you currently own/host? Base: all with OC now 6
  • Approximately 30% started over 5 years ago, and there has been entries intothe market every year since then. A&P publishers started much earlier thantrade, with little difference between the UK and US. 2012 2011 2010 2009 Before 2009 Dont know A&P 11 11 11 67 Trade 24 20 12 20 16 8 US 18 9 9 27 27 9 UK 17 22 13 13 30 4 Total 18 18 12 18 29 6 % 0 20 40 60 80 100Q In what year did you launch your first online community? Base: all with OC now 7
  • The larger the company, the earlier it started, and in general the more OCs the company has the earlier it started Q In what year did you launch the first online community? 2012 2011 2010 2009 Before 2009 Dont know7 or more 17 17 0 50 17 5 or 6 13 25 25 38 3 or 4 14 14 43 29 1 or 2 31 38 8 15 8 Large 13 13 25 50 Medium 8 17 25 17 33 Small 36 21 0 14 14 14 % 0 20 40 60 80 100 Base: all with OC now 8
  • By far the leading benefit is seen as increased engagement with audience/members, followed by increased direct relationship with customers. There areno differences between those who have and have not got an OC at present. Other benefits 4 Authors like to get involved 6 Experimentation to inform future strategy 8Obtain feedback from customers on particular issues 8 Faster peer-to-peer reviewing 10 Greater integration of content with the reader’s… 14 Works as a direct sales channel 16 Increased content usage 18 Increasing loyalty 18 General marketing to support other sales channels 33 Increasing our knowledge and understanding of… 35 Increasing direct relationship with customers 53 Increased engagement with audience/members 73 % 0 20 40 60 80 Q What do you see as the 3 most important actual or potential benefits of online communities? Base: all 9
  • US publishers are much more likely to mention increased direct relationship with customers, with both US and UK publishers most likely to mention increasing knowledge/understanding of customers. Other benefits 0 6 Authors like to get involved 6 6 Experimentation to inform future strategy 13 6 Obtain feedback from customers on particular issues 6 9 Faster peer-to-peer reviewing 6 12 Greater integration of content with the reader’s workflow 19 12 Works as a direct sales channel 19 15 US (16) Increased content usage 25 15 UK (33) Increasing loyalty 13 21 General marketing to support other sales channels 38 30 Increasing our knowledge and understanding of customers 13 45 Increasing direct relationship with customers 63 48 Increased engagement with audience/members 75 73Q What do you see as the 3 most important actual or 0 20 40 60 % 80potential benefits of online communities? Base: all 10
  • Trade publishers are particularly likely to mention increased direct relationship with customers and general marketing to support other sales channels; A&P publishers show considerable interest in content usage and integration Other benefits 10 0 Authors like to get involved 0 10 Experimentation to inform future strategy 5 10 Obtain feedback from customers on particular issues 5 10 Faster peer-to-peer reviewing 5 14 Greater integration of content with the reader’s workflow 35 0 Works as a direct sales channel 25 10 A&P (20) Increased content usage 40 Trade (29) 3 Increasing loyalty 20 17 General marketing to support other sales channels 15 45 Increasing our knowledge and understanding of customers 40 31 Increasing direct relationship with customers 25 72 Increased engagement with audience/members 70 76 % 0 20 40 60 80Q What do you see as the 3 most important actual orpotential benefits of online communities? Base: all 11
  • The main differences between those with and without OCs at present perhaps reflect the fact that the latter have a higher proportion of A&Ps, and thus show more concern for content-related benefits Other benefits 7 3 Experimentation to inform future strategy 13 6 Greater integration of content with the reader’s workflow 27 9 Increased content usage 40 9 Obtain feedback from customers on particular issues 7 9 Authors like to get involved 9 Works as a direct sales channel 27 12 No OCs (15) Faster peer-to-peer reviewing 15 With OCs (34) Increasing loyalty 13 21 Increasing our knowledge and understanding of customers 33 35 General marketing to support other sales channels 27 35 Increasing direct relationship with customers 47 56 Increased engagement with audience/members 53 82 % 0 20 40 60 80Q What do you see as the 3 most important actual orpotential benefits of online communities? Base: all 12
  • Two-thirds feel the investment is already paying off, and most others feel itwill do so; none were not convinced it would. % Q Do you feel your investment in online 100 3 communities is paying off? 5 4 9 9 9 12 Dont know 80 38 24 23 27 20 No, and not convinced it will 60 Not yet, but see it as a longer- 40 term investment, beyond 2015 64 64 64 64 63 20 Not yet, but expect it to by the end of 2015 0 Yes Total UK US Trade A&P Base: all with OCs 13
  • Overall ebooks are the format that appears to have benefited most from the use of OCs, though A&P publishers particularly mention online resources% Total UK US Trade A&P 80 67 60 55 40 40 36 32 32 30 26 26 27 28 22 22 24 22 22 2122 18 18 18 17 18 20 11 11 12 13 12 1211 12 12 9 9 9 9 9 8 6 0 Paperbacks Membership Non-book products Online resources Online journals Hardbacks Ebooks Not sure None: no increase in traffic/sales seenQ In which, if any, formats have you seen increased traffic/sales because of your communities? Base: all with OCs 14
  • Two-thirds use the OCs to sell products, though fewer A&P publishers do so Q Do you online communities to sell products directly through the community site? % 100 80 38 39 36 36 44 60 No Yes 40 62 61 64 64 56 20 0 Total UK US Trade A&P Base: all with OCs 15
  • 84% think spending on OCs will increase a lot (27%) or a little (57%) betweennow and 2015, with relatively little difference between the groups* % 100 2 3 3 7 5 Q How do you expect your annual 14 9 9 spending on online communities to 25 27 have changed by the end of 2015? 25 80 Stopped spending 62 60 56 61 57 Decreased somewhat 50 50 No real change 60 40 Expect to spend a little more Expect to spend a lot more 20 31 32 27 27 25 20 13 0 Total UK US Trade A&P With OCs No OCs * Just 1 (UK A&P) publisher thinks spending will decline – none say it will stop. Base: all 16
  • The sample – 1: Turnover Numbers Total UK US Trade* A&P Company DivisionUnder £1m 5 5 4 1 5 0£1m - 5m 8 8 5 3 6 2£6m - 10m 5 5 3 2 4 1£11m - 50m 9 9 6 3 3 6£51m - 100m 4 4 1 3 2 2£101m - 500m 2 2 1 1 2 0£500m - £1bn 0 0 0 0 0 0Over £1billion 0 0 0 0 0 0Under $1m 4 4 4 0 1 3$1m - 5m 4 4 2 2 3 1$6m - 10m 0 0 0 0 0 0$11m - 50m 5 5 1 4 3 2$51m - 100m 1 1 1 0 1 0$101m - 500m 0 0 0 0 0 0$500m - 1000m 0 0 0 0 0 0Over $1billion 2 2 1 1 2 0TOTAL 49 33 16 29 20 32 17 * Trade includes Children’s
  • The sample – 2: Areas of publishing Numbers Total UK US Small* Medium* Large*Main Trade 27 18 9 14 9 4 Academic & Professional 20 13 7 6 9 5 Childrens 2 2 0 1 1 0 Other 0 0 0 0 0 0Any Trade 33 21 12 17 10 6 Academic & Professional 26 18 8 8 12 6 Childrens 13 8 5 4 6 3 Other 2 1 1 1 0 1TOTAL 49 33 16 21 19 9 * Responding companies/division grouped by turnover, with no distinction between £ and $. Small = Up to 5m: Medium = 6-50m: Large=Over 50m
  • Bowker Market Research, the leading provider of market research informationand business intelligence for the book industry, was formed in March 2012 bycombining BML (Book Marketing Ltd), originally established in the UK in 1990,and RR Bowker’s consumer research business in the US. Bowker MarketResearch monitors the US and UK book markets through Books & Consumers,the premier resource for understanding consumer book buying behavior, as wellas undertaking adhoc, customised research projects for a wide range of clients.For more information on our data and research services, please contact us at: BMR 18-20 St Andrew Street London EC4A 3AG 020 7832 1782 jo.henry@bowker.co.uk www.bookconsumer.co.uk © BMR April 2013