Friday 11 September 2015

Digital developments and new revenue streams

Timo Hannay introduced the final panel at the 2015 ALPSP Conference that focused on digital developments and new revenue streams.

Mary Ging has worked as a consultant and as MD for international at Infotrieve. In traditional access models, the annual license model still dominates. Publishers have been experimenting with value-add options. In the medium to long term the consensus is that the model will change. Given millenial's short attention spans and time crunch, is the traditional 12-15 page article the best way to disseminate research information? Is there a better alternative?

Pay Per View document delivery is bigger than you think. Publishers including CUP, Wiley, Nature and others offer rental on their websites as well as third parties such as DeepDyve and ReadCube. With article enhancement, sharing and collaboration tools there are also publisher or third party options as well.

There has been rapid growth in OA publications. In September 2015, DOAG listed 10,555 - a 30% increase in three years. Hybrid journals are increasing and there's a significant improvement in quality. Most articles are covered by a Creative Commons license, increasingly CC-BY. Text and data mining is a new area where there's a lot of interest, but not a lot of revenue. Another issue is the lack of expertise. The biggest challenge is collecting the corpus is a consistent way. There is an opportunity to provide a corpus creation solution for those who wish to do text and data mining. Is there a market for an ebay for datasets? That could work as an incentive to work with it.

Other opportunities include the importance of the patent literature and helping academics stay in touch with what's happening in this area. There could be tools to meet with regulatory requirements (e.g. Quosa for pharmacovigliance). What about the cloud? Are their opportunities to use for one solution for publisher to buy into with standard data structures? The best opportunities will be found by publishers who define their remit more broadly than just the paper.

Mat Pfleger, Managing Director at the Copyright Licensing Agency shared the challenges that CLA are considering as they develop their services. These relate to policy changes to education and HE as well as cuts in funding. Automatic renewals and inflationary pricing are symptoms of complacency. The challenge is to think beyond the short term deal. The current focus on cost masked the broader challenges we face today. We need to focus on that.

Another challenge is a range of new, disruptive services that deliver content as part of a service, each providing data that can be used in many different ways. Each creates value across multiple touch points across an institution. Some examples include The Mobile Learner's Library from Pearson
Kortext - beyond content, it's a collaboration and analytics tool
Article Galaxy Widget

How do we as a community engage with multiple open sources. Some interesting examples are Open Stack Space. Funded by a number of foundations. It provides student access to peer reviewed text books. This year alone they serviced 200,000 students and claim $25million savings. Lumen's mission is to provide open education resources to eliminate textbook costs. 4.9 million resources are downloaded each week from Tes. They recently hired a former ebay contact and have created a marketplace for teachers. It is a significant platform for open educational resources. When you combine with the challenge to the budget, this is a significant game-changer.

What does the collective licensing and streaming of content mean for collective licensing organizations. Netflix, Spotify, EPIC! are all subscription services that have potential to disrupt. They all have a growing catalogue of content which is presented at a granular level. Royalties are linked at this level with micro payment system. Every content industry engaging with these services has had to have a serious rethink about their business model.

Chris Graf, Business Development Director for the Society Services Team at Wiley pondered on what societies really want from publishers. Primarily it is financial, and particularly around new revenue. This new revenue can come from new markets, new adjacent markets and new products. Surprisingly, the biggest growth in content is in Latin America. So they are an area they focus on. With adjacent markets, transactional income such as rental and advertising can be considered. You can think about the user as potential adjacent revenue, but a user pays model can be risky. With new breakout products you need technical insight, drive down costs and usability. They consider this when looking at developing author services.

Graf closed by reflecting on revenue steams. What we have right now is a complex eco-system that publishers and societies benefit from, but it has taken hundreds of years to develop. It's worth bearing that in mind.

Tanya Field, Director of Mobile Value Partners and self-proclaimed outside had a simple message. All the other industries are having to learn that working as individuals will enable them to overcome the hurdles they face to remain profitable. Whatever you deliver to your consumers, the actual delivery needs to be simple and incredibly easy to use. That means presentation levels for every single format. That's a technical challenge as there are so many formats. You really need very clear signposting and intuitive flows for the users to get to the content. It's not just about delivering flat information. Younger users want to engage with content.

Your distribution strategy needs to be at the top of the access point. Last, but not least, the most important thing you need to consider is that the whole world is driven by data. Context and relevance are key to success. Know who your customer is, what they like, when they like it and deliver it to them. Your customer data strategy is key. If data isn't at the heart of your strategy it will be a problem in the future.

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