Although there is no doubt that the ‘digital switchover’ will unveil opportunities to engage audiences and raise revenues in ways not previously possible, a strong sense of reticence remains. Much of the inaction is driven by a fear that venturing too far online can only serve to cannibalise existing market share in the traditional print world.
In my view, too many organisations are waiting for a magic bullet; the perfect solution that will work for them all. Crucially, there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach; different online content models will work for different publications. Experimenting with smart technology is now a business imperative and organisations that hesitate are sure to miss the boat.
Publishers must take the time to evaluate their content, and indeed their audience, so to segment, position and price their services effectively. I am convinced that it is only by a process of trial and error that organisations will build coherent and complimentary strategies for both print and digital media. After all, ‘the best way to predict the future is to invent it’.
The digital ecosystem is innately complex and not without danger but I believe it should be embraced with future opportunities in mind. With hindsight it is clear that early winners will be those who demonstrate the nerve to make a fundamental change, who are not afraid to experiment and who can translate experience into a profitable model.
While it is almost impossible to second guess the rate at which relevant technologies will evolve, I urge organisations to start experimenting with the same gusto as their customers. Future generations will insist upon greater choice, flexibility and interaction with content and publishers must keep pace with digital platforms in order to deliver this.
We are supporting clients to reshape their business models and identify sustainable revenue streams across the digital landscape. An increasingly important element of this involves the expertise of our Intellectual Property & Corporate Governance unit who work with media firms to track royalties and associated revenues accurately. One thing is clear: organisations must understand the correlation between the needs of their consumers and their core product attributes before value can be isolated and priced appropriately in the market.