As the fair's Innovation Partner, Samsung devices and representatives have been prominently featured around the Frankfurt Book Fair. So, what is Samsung looking to do in the publishing business? PW caught up in the Frankfurt Business Club with Rory O’Neill, marketing director for European Telecommunications Operations (ETO) at Samsung, for a quick chat about the company's foray into books.
Tell me a little about your mission here in Frankfurt. Are you here to learn, as well as to show off the latest Samsung technology?
Yes, both, you know, because content is a huge part of the mobile experience. A lot of people who now absorb content today will do it first from a mobile device. These things have changed the way we interact with so many kinds of content, so for us at Samsung, we're interested in a very innovative, rich, full experience. That comes from hardware, software, and, content, and we feel like partnership and collaboration is the right way for us to do that. We know hardware, we makes some great hardware. But we think there's great ways of partnering with the entities that are here to deliver new, rich and refreshing experiences on Samsung products whether that's supporting publishers on new distribution methods like Galaxy Gifts, or Papergarden, or new multimedia content experiences, like some of the work we're doing with Marvel Comics, where you can have a really rich experience comics experience and take it beyond, to where we believe some of the the features are going to be, to like a virtual reality experience. So we’re here absolutely to understand the industry, to partner, to collaborate, and to make sure that we’ve got great content for consumers.
You presented Tuesday at ConTec, can you share some of the major themes you hit on there?
Well, a couple of things, but foremost is that tablets have transformed the way we all look at content, and not just the material that we enjoy reading, but what we game on, and view. And I think the second thing is that we are just sort of teasing out how future generations are going to expect to use content. I think its fabulous the way that digital natives, you know, those born after the year 2000 or so, are going to expect content to be. They are going to expect to interact with it, and it is fabulously exciting to think of the ways those people are going to change the way that the publishing industry and other industries produce content for them to consume
What are the strengths you see Samsung bringing to publishing?
It's a couple areas. One, first and foremost, yes, we're already innovating the hardware experience. You think about the Galaxy S and its super AMOLED screen, and it means that people can now read great content inside, outside, or in conditions not so bright, or bright. I think the second way we can help is with the distribution models. I think most of the publishers that I was speaking to yesterday have embraced digital technology innovation, but sometimes the challenge isn't on the technology side but with the business model. How do you monetize this new experience? This is something we can partner on, and at Samsung we would have a very collaborative approach, because we recognize our value, and we recognize the value in the publishing industry.
I think a third thing, and arguably the most exciting thing, is transforming the way content experiences are shared. Yes, there is a great chance to use multimedia,and video content to bring a page to life but there's also sharing that experience. Most people now reading a book will want to say something on Facebook or Twitter. So if anything the digital experience can expand how we transform and literate words.
This is your first Frankfurt. What are you looking forward to?
I am just really looking forward to learning more about the industry. I'm certain digital experiences have been talked about at this fair for some time. And there is a lot of appetite among publishers to see people like Samsung here at the fair, and so its refreshing to be here. That's a good thing.