Monday 25 February 2013

ASA 2013: David Myers on Buying and Selling Content - Don't Forget the Small Publisher

David Myers of DMedia Associates focused on buying and selling content, but from a small publisher perspective. He provided some general industry statistics to provide context:

  • worldwide there are 25,000 scholarly journal titles from approximately 2,000 publishers
  • only 60% or so are indexed by some database
  • 3% are open access journals, but this will grow
  • historically, small range of well-respected content
  • now, ability to have a comprehensive search experience.

New(er) trends include:

  1. CLOCKSS/PORTICO, others - need to participate in a digital preservation initiative
  2. tablets, mobile - pay attention
    • 112.5m US adults own a tablet by 2016 - >third of US
    • Tablet adoption up by 400% (source: Nielsen)
    • Majority use for reading information
    • spend 14 hours per week with their tablets
  3. ebooks
    • 2011 $90billion global market
    • by 2016 - grow by 18.9%
    • but in certain parts of the world and certain customers - budget for ebooks is not even in the same part of institution - need to understand arbitrariness of where money comes from with some customers.
He believes that using grass roots direct marketing, that then lead to trials, still remains the primary vehicle for adoptions. Co-marketing of titles with a particular focus, thereby creating a certain level of critical mass, works. Novel or targeted offerings help you to stand out. Bespoke collections where the user chooses are also popular.

Myers advice to small publishers to thrive is to look at:

  • commissions and margins
  • pay attention to small details, figure it out and give it to the customer
  • help those who help you
  • be responsive
  • invest for the future
  • let renewals be handled by experts.

The key take-away points for publishers are about flexibility and remember who you are dealing with as personal relationships matter. External and political issues dictate the environment. Administrative issues are important. Last, but not least, focus on the biggest opportunities.

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