We have been doing some very interesting work for the publishing industry of late. Many publishers are trying to figure out their “digital” business model in an effort not to become extinct.
The truth is, their evolutionary model has been staring at them this whole time. Their history is their future.
Most of them have been focused in the model of “launch and forget” – create a monthly issue, print it, and forget about it because the next issue is 30 days away. On occasion, there will be follow-up stories, or editorials on last month’s story. But there is a much bigger opportunity than anyone has truly realized.
Creating content must still be a significant part of the business, but adding the ability to understand the true history and evolution of their content will give their audience major value.
Gathering and digitizing their archive of content gives publishers the ability to add meta-data searches, going back in time. In some circumstances, over 100 years.
Imagine reading an article on the plight of the rain forrest today. Isn’t it interesting to understand what the perspective was 10, 20, 50, 100 years ago?…written in that time without a historian’s opinion inserted. Isn’t it important to understand not only where things are today, but how they got here? If we made that interaction simple and intuitive, wouldn’t you want that perspective?
The content that already exists in the publishing world makes it impossible to easily compete with them – their differentiator is the history of content. And the relevance history brings to the story today.