Just before the London Book Fair, Spain-based Dosdoce.com released an English-language version of its latest report, “New Business Models in the Digital Age,” which is available for free on its website and is designed to help publishing professionals better understand the evolving international business landscape. We asked Javier Celaya, CEO and founder of Dosdoce.com, and one of the report’s authors, about the findings.
Tell us about the report and what you hope readers will gain from it.
The report includes a review of more than 15 Internet-based business models, which the publishing industry can use to determine where their business opportunities lie, including subscription models, direct selling, micropayments, e-lending licenses, and bundling to in-app purchases, among others. We hope that this study helps book professionals reflect on how to incorporate these emerging models into their company’s strategy, whether they are publishers, libraries, universities, bookstores, or distribution platforms.
In recent months, it seems like we’ve begun to see more experimentation with the models you discuss in the report. Do you agree?
Yes, publishing houses are experimenting with new models, but many still fail to have an open-minded, entrepreneurial mind-set during the evaluation phase of the results. The only way to move forward, however, is to assume a long-term trial-and-error mind-set. Innovation entails losing the fear of an ongoing “pivoting” scenario and developing closer relationships with the entrepreneurs of the 21st century. Only that will allow long-established publishing companies to gain a fuller knowledge of the advantages of new business models emerging in the digital economy.
Change certainly seems to be coming quickly—any predictions as to what you may be reporting in, say, five years’ time?
The evolution of the publishing business models will become increasingly more complex in the next five years. Many publishers don’t want to see that reading will be economically treated as a utility, but that’s where we are going. We don’t pay in advance for the water or electricity we consume at home; we pay for whatever we consume. Why should reading be different? We live in a new era. And it is an era with previously unseen access to vast amounts of user-generated content. Book industry professionals must reflect on what kind of business models are needed to respond to these new ways of user co-creation, access, and consumption of cultural content.