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Stay Ahead Of The Shift

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Mike Shatzkin's Speech from BEA 2009 - May 28th, 2009.

Mike Shatzkin's Speech from BEA 2009 - May 28th, 2009.

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  • 1. Stay Ahead of the Shift: What Product-Centric Publishers Can Do to Flourish in a Community-Centric Web World BEA, 28 May 2009 Mike Shatzkin
  • 2. The fundamental premises:
  • 3.
    • Things will change
    The fundamental premises:
  • 4.
    • It is necessary to have a view of the future to anticipate change
    The fundamental premises:
  • 5.
    • The market and how you reach it will shift in some ways between when you sign titles and publish them for the foreseeable future
    The fundamental premises:
  • 6.
    • You must try new things: it is as important to be nimble and opportunistic as it is to be analytical when you do
    The fundamental premises:
  • 7.
    • For maximum benefit: new things should be tried within a framework of understanding (your “view of the future”)
    The fundamental premises:
  • 8. A lot happens in 20 years
  • 9.
    • TV 1968-1988 :
    • Broadcast networks go from totally dominant to highly challenged
    In 20 Years…
  • 10.
    • Music 1980-2000:
    • Record companies fat from sales of new formats to a total breakdown of the business model
    In 20 Years…
  • 11.
    • Newspapers 1989-2009:
    • From stable cash cows thanks primarily to classified to endangered species
    In 20 Years…
  • 12.
    • Mass-market paperbacks 1975-1995: from multi million dollar bestseller advances to category strugglers
    In 20 Years…
  • 13.
    • Online access 1989-2009:
    • From klunky dial-up through a closed online network to the Internet in your hand
    In 20 Years…
  • 14.
    • Books 1989-2009:
    • From pre-Internet, pre-POD, pre-long tail, pre-SUPERSTORES to now…
    In 20 Years…
  • 15.
    • Books 2009-2029:
    • That’s what we need to think about today…
    In 20 Years…
  • 16. A point of view: the world of content in 20 years
  • 17.
    • All in the cloud ; piracy and license control no longer a problem (DRM obsolete); almost all file access of any kind is “tethered”
    20 Years from now…
  • 18.
    • We are all both licensors and licensees
    20 Years from now…
  • 19.
    • Access through multiple devices/screens (synonymous)
    20 Years from now…
  • 20.
    • Nugget (more granular) and niche organization for everything: search, content, social community combined
    20 Years from now…
  • 21.
    • Format- specific publishing gives way to format -agnostic publishing
    20 Years from now…
  • 22.
    • Community gateways, portals, upstream aggregates
    20 Years from now…
  • 23.
    • Crowd-sourced content; crowd-sourced editing and curation
    20 Years from now…
  • 24.
    • Professional and personal super-editing and super-curation
    20 Years from now…
  • 25.
    • Subscription models common; per-item sales relatively rare
    20 Years from now…
  • 26.
    • Mass market (cross-niche) content arising from niches (a new “farm system”)
    20 Years from now…
  • 27. 20 Years from now…
    • The publishing business has a much larger B2B component
  • 28. Perhaps: one general trade publisher
  • 29. c
    • Aggregates from across the internet universe
    One general trade publisher:
  • 30.
    • Delivers “books” (ebooks, multi-media, group-creations), but mostly POD
    One general trade publisher:
  • 31.
    • Press runs? If there’s someplace to sell them…
    One general trade publisher:
  • 32. Publishing “skills” applied within the niches and the nuggets
  • 33.
    • Own, manage, administer, or lead a nugget or a niche (or work for somebody who does)
    Within the niches and nuggets:
  • 34.
    • Generate, curate, aggregate content of any kind from and for the niche
    Within the niches and nuggets:
  • 35.
    • Employ skills of selection, editing, formatting for presentation, marketing
    Within the niches and nuggets:
  • 36.
    • For many biggest business: B2B content development for the niche
    Within the niches and nuggets:
  • 37. Not particularly relevant, but many here would ask: “Books?”
  • 38.
    • Sure, because of POD, new ones “appear” all the time
    Books?
  • 39.
    • More new titles are created by readers than by publishers (might already be true!)
    Books?
  • 40.
    • Press run titles are the exception, not the rule
    Books?
  • 41.
    • And reading on paper is definitely “retro”
    Books?
  • 42. The uncomfortable bottom line on this change: from N to X
  • 43.
    • Value moves from conte n t to conte x t
    From content to context
  • 44.
    • Ownership of attention will be more important than ownership of content
    From content to context
  • 45.
    • Value moves to scarcity
    From content to context
  • 46.
    • Content creation and distribution no longer require scale
    From content to context
  • 47.
    • Niche by niche and nugget by nugget: community attention (i.e. marketing) does require scale
    From content to context
  • 48.
    • If you have capital, where is competitive advantage?
    From content to context
  • 49. So today’s value creation isn’t tomorrow’s
  • 50.
    • You win today by owning valuable content and shelf space to merchandise it
    Today vs. Tomorrow
  • 51.
    • You win tomorrow by owning valuable eyeballs and mental bandwidth
    • You win today by owning valuable content and shelf space to merchandise it
    Today vs. Tomorrow
  • 52.
    • The historical revenue model was clear
    Today vs. Tomorrow
  • 53.
    • The next revenue model is not (yet)
    • The historical revenue model was clear
    Today vs. Tomorrow
  • 54. Transitional decades coming: costs rise, revenue falls
  • 55.
    • Supporting multiple models: print books, ebooks, and new forms
    The Transition
  • 56.
    • Legacy content (yours and everybody else’s) all being digitized
    The Transition
  • 57.
    • Legacy content (yours and everybody else’s) all being tagged and organized
    The Transition
  • 58.
    • Digitizing of rights databases could be more expensive than digitizing content itself!
    The Transition
  • 59.
    • New screens, platforms, channels proliferate and all create some level of expense
    The Transition
  • 60.
    • Digital natives inventing a future (social networking, uses of links, redefining roles, determining formats of presentation, feedback, mixing of media)
    The Transition
  • 61. Things that happen during this transition
  • 62.
    • Lines blur among newspapers, magazines, books, games
    Things that happen during the transition
  • 63.
    • Content finds markets and pricing models; markets find (and create and promote) content
    Things that happen during the transition
  • 64.
    • Access to audiences remains the key: NY Times and B&N were ; Google and Amazon are ; Facebook and Twitter to be ? For how long?
    Things that happen during the transition
  • 65.
    • Darwinian processes (with a boost from technology) create vertical clusters (and do you know Ning?)
    Things that happen during the transition
  • 66.
    • The old model still “works”; just for fewer titles (and fewer general trade publishers and fewer bookstores)
    Things that happen during the transition
  • 67. Back to the present and near future: change we can feel
  • 68.
    • Soon: one bookstore chain exacerbates critical mass issues
    Change we can feel
  • 69.
    • Soon: five, then four, then X general trade publishers
    • Soon: one bookstore chain exacerbates critical mass issues
    Change we can feel
  • 70.
    • Mass market “events”: fewer in number, faster to cycle, and shorter in duration (and not just for books)
    Change we can feel
  • 71.
    • Niche- and self-publishing and blogs as a “farm system”: will become standard practice
    Change we can feel
  • 72.
    • More and more paper books short run and POD
    Change we can feel
  • 73.
    • Ebooks increasingly have content edge: more of it and more timely
    Change we can feel
  • 74.
    • More difficult to launch new titles
    Change we can feel
  • 75.
    • Harder to sustain backlist
    Change we can feel
  • 76.
    • From stable to ever-changing marketing vehicles
    Change we can feel
  • 77.
    • Indispensability of social networks as word-of-mouth device
    Change we can feel
  • 78. What pushes (or nudges) publishers to vertical
  • 79.
    • Necessity (horizontal marketing and sales channels diminish)
    What pushes publishers
  • 80.
    • New marketing opportunities arising on the web
    What pushes publishers
  • 81.
    • Costs skyrocket marketing outside known niches
    What pushes publishers
  • 82.
    • Natural development of “in-niche” relationships
    What pushes publishers
  • 83.
    • Web sites as a market for content further drive vertical aggregation (across publishers)
    What pushes publishers
  • 84. Remembering our own fundamentals: what does a publisher do ?
  • 85.
    • Connects content to markets (20 th century)
    What does a publisher do?
  • 86.
    • Connects databases to networks (21 st century)
    What does a publisher do?
  • 87.
    • Understands communities of content consumers: what they want and how to reach them
    What does a publisher do?
  • 88.
    • Recognizes creative possibilities in not-fully-developed ideas
    What does a publisher do?
  • 89.
    • Coordinates the disparate activities necessary to connect a creator to an audience; sometimes to connect creators to each other
    What does a publisher do?
  • 90.
    • Manages a massive amount of detail
    What does a publisher do?
  • 91. The publisher’s position today to get to tomorrow: pros and cons
  • 92.
    • books are ultimate “niche” products
    • publishers are trained niche marketers
    • skilled at content creation, development
    • can put a “souvenir” on the shelf
    • can target-distribute URLs
    Pros:
  • 93.
    • product- and book-centricity
    • not continuous
    • (most) not vertically focused
    • lack resources to experiment
    • lack a culture of technology or a culture of experimentation
    Cons:
  • 94. What we said when we started:
    • We’re in an era of rapid change
    • We must experiment and re-invent
    • Do that within a framework created by a “view of the future”
  • 95.
    • The view of the future presented here: Move toward vertical and community
  • 96. So what’s a publisher’s 21 st century action plan?
  • 97.
    • First and foremost:
    • understand yourself vertically!
    • (BISAC, Special Sales)
    The Publisher’s 21 st Century Plan
  • 98.
    • When you know what your verticals are (or might be):
    • research your vertical web world
    The Publisher’s 21 st Century Plan
  • 99.
    • Construct business metrics and track financials by verticals
    The Publisher’s 21 st Century Plan
  • 100.
    • Have a sensible Web strategy: 1 presence for B2B; at least 1 for each vertical
    The Publisher’s 21 st Century Plan
  • 101.
    • Create a complete email list strategy: vertical-sensitive and with an author-facing component
    The Publisher’s 21 st Century Plan
  • 102.
    • Over time: reshuffle your publishing portfolio
    The Publisher’s 21 st Century Plan
  • 103.
    • Over time: maximize cumulative effects of web marketing efforts
    The Publisher’s 21 st Century Plan
  • 104.
    • Over time: construct alliances that will enable new businesses and new business models
    The Publisher’s 21 st Century Plan
  • 105.
    • And if this doesn’t work for you, create another view of the future that does!
    • But HAVE ONE !

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