By Don Nicholas • 06/18/2009
All information products will be digital by the year 2025.
Warning: Your staff will need to acquire new skills to create these new digital products
In a few years, customers will expect to be able to buy any digital product — newspaper, magazine, or video — and download it immediately to either their desktop computer or their portable digital reader.
Prediction: Sales of the Amazon Kindle and the Sony Reader are poised to soar!
The technological adoption curve takes about 30 years. We’ve been online since 1994, so right now, we’re 15 years into the change over from physical to digital products.
Print is far from dead, but CD-ROMs and paper print products are no longer economically viable. In 15 years, no one will be printing newspapers, magazines and books — everything will be digital and delivered immediately.
When the engineers perfect digital readers — in another five years or less — digital products will become as common as Kleenex.
How to get started in the digital publishing revolution
You can sell your physical products online just as easily as you can sell your digital products. If your audience is over 40 years of age and still wants you to ship them the magazine, report, book, or CD-ROM, do it. You’ll still have a viable database for selling digital products.
Your product pyramid will look the same. For as long as some of your customers want it delivered physically, some of your products will continue to be delivered physically.
But it’s imperative that you create the digital products that will eventually replace your physical products. This is good economics for two reasons.
First, it’s forward thinking. If you believe all information products will eventually be delivered digitally, then you must begin building your digital product pyramid.
Second, in the short run, it provides an easy path for building out your product inventory. If you currently have only five or 10 products, and you need to get to at least 20 or 25 products, you can develop them as digital downloads less expensively.
The key is to leverage your existing information content by reformatting, repurposing and redesigning it for different platforms. These can be webinars, digital publications, and membership websites.
Your focus shouldn’t be on creating new content, but on developing new delivery platforms for your existing digital information.
Ultimately, the challenge for print publishers is to become digital publishers — to transform existing hard copy content into new media that is digital and downloadable.
What do you need to bring about this transformation?
Well, certainly you need a roadmap for the journey.
Plus, you’ll need a budget for research and development.
And your staff will need to acquire new skills to create these new digital products.
We can show you how.
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Posted in Online Publishing