We’ve written before about the growing number of non-traditional publishers – companies as well as individuals – whose content output poses a challenge and an opportunity for established publishers.
The growth of lower-cost, niche content providers certainly challenges the prevailing model for book and periodical publishing. As the volume and accessibility of content improves, prices may decline. Abundance helps consumers but it probably hurts publishers.
One option for traditional publishers: grow their ability to implement and leverage enterprise content management (ECM). An effective argument for developing those skills was recently posted by Carl Frappaolo on ebizq.net, the “insider’s guide to business and IT agility“.
Writing for a broad audience, Frappaolo calls on content providers to link business intelligence with ECM to drive personalized and contextual publishing. He also suggests developing and deploying tools that allow content providers to “fine-tune the presentation and make-up of content”.
With established circulation and sizable backlists, traditional magazine and book publishers could be working right now to develop these skills and tools. As non-traditional content providers come online, established players would offer approaches that improved revenues and margins.
This would take traditional publishers out of what is now their core activity, but it would also provide them with a defensible niche in a content-rich world. In the meantime, they would be developing an approach that forever moves them beyond the printed page.