By Don Nicholas • 01/09/2012
In 2012, the publishing industry will continue to shift manufacturing and distribution costs to the consumer, causing unit pricing to fall and publishers to introduce more premium editions
In a free market, economics is a predictable science. Over the next few years, consumers will snap up more than 300 million tablet computers. These network devices will link to media cloud servers via wireless connections that will also be paid for by the consumer. The ubiquitous Internet will also continue to flatten the media world, empowering users to shop for digital magazines, books and videos in a global marketplace.
These three market forces will place strong market pressure on publishers to reduce unit prices for digital magazines, books, videos and other information products. At a recent conference, one publisher referred to the upcoming decade as “Mr. Toad’s wild ride for publishers.” As I thought about his description, it occurred to me that the ride had the potential to be both fun and terrifying. Personally, I prefer fun. To avoid the terrifying experience that unexpected change often brings, might I suggest a five-year plan founded on economic reality?
Three keys to digital publishing fun
Embrace new channels: in a market where the cost of serving one more copy is near zero and there is downward pressure on unit price, increased volume is the key to having fun in the digital future. Now is the time to embrace the new digital channels being offered by retailers like Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, and so many more to come. For the moment, consumers are embracing digital replicas the way you should be embracing digital channels. Both are key transitional strategies important to the long-term health of your media brands.