Beyond the page

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, 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.

About Brian O'Leary

Founder and principal of Magellan Media Consulting, Brian O’Leary helps enterprises with media and publishing components capitalize on the power of content. A veteran of more than 30 years in the publishing industry and a prolific content producer himself, Brian leverages the breadth and depth of his experience to deliver innovative content solutions.

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