A panel of experts provides some insight on how publishers can find growth opportunities to expand their businesses.
As one of the last session’s panelists at the Publisher’s Forum in Berlin stated, “it is easy to go mad if you allow yourself to be consumed by all the threats and opportunities to publishing and it is far better to focus on the opportunities.” And, for these panelists speaking on the challenge growth poses, there are plenty of opportunities to contemplate. The predominant theme of the conference’s discussions was that ‘change is here’ and publishers can no longer choose to ignore it. This panel on Innovation and Growth was moderated by David Worlock with panelists Fionnuala Duggan from Informa plc, Joerg Rheinboldt from Axel Springer and Joseph Evans from Enders Analysis.
As publishers strategize their growth plans, Duggan noted they are beginning to experiment with new models and market-entry opportunities. One company discussed at the forum was the education company Alison, which brought to the self-teaching learning and life-long education market a ‘freemium’ model. Alison’s model requires great scale but it’s a global business and the company is going into areas where there are large populations of ambitious, underserved people such as Nigeria. Cengage has also challenged the traditional pricing model for educational materials with the launch of their content subscription model which has upended the textbook pricing model and may well become an industry standard model. In seeking growth, new business model innovation can have a profound impact on your business.