Books Evolve. Publishers? Maybe Not.
October 30, 2011
The publishing industry is one of the main fields that has changed drastically in recent years. With mobility leading the way in technology sales, this will only change more. Publishing Perspectives notes this trend in their article, “What Publishers Look For When They Buy a Company.”
This article chronicles the history of the industry. Acquisitions have been a profitable component of publishing businesses since the 1960s because they offered the ability to diversify and combine functions.
The article shares the following inside information:
First and foremost, they are looking for another seat at the table. Every one of the top 20 companies has a strong technology component and are active buyers of independent companies with creative technology programs. Hundreds of smaller publishers use Constellation, a service offered by Perseus, to make use of electronic readers, digital book search, print on demand, and other digital formats.
Apparently some smaller companies looking to merge are holding out for the publisher who sees their long histories of profit in their specific niche. The current trajectory does not bode well for them in our opinion.
What it comes down to, historical context aside, is that publishers need companies that stand a chance in rivaling the big dogs like Google and Amazon who essentially may monopolize the current market. Disintermediation, anyone?
Megan Feil, October 30, 2011
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