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Stay Ahead Of The Shift


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Stay Ahead Of The Shift

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