Will Technology Save the Publishing Industry?
The Internet has had a significant impact on newspapers. The development of online communication has led to important transformations at an organizational level, The internet has involved changes in access, production and circulation of information. These changes are distinguished by the speed with which news reaches the reader, the low cost of distributing information and the opportunity to establish more direct contact and interaction with it’s users.
Because information is available to everyone, the Internet raises the bargaining power of customers, who can quickly find the lowest-cost provider on the web. The internet also raises the bargaining power over suppliers by reducing the barriers to entry and from the elimination of distributors and other brokers that stand between them and their users. The same reduction of barriers that increase the bargaining power of customers also increases the threat of new competition by eliminating or reducing the need for a sales force and many physical assets that might have inhibited the entry of new business that could pose a threat.
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With a reduction in the differences between existing companies, the number of competitors increases, the geographic market widens making it more difficult to sustain operational advantages and puts pressure to compete on price with rivaling competition. Internet technology is based on universal standards that any company can use, making it easy for rivals to compete on price alone and for new competitors to enter the market. Some companies are better than others at using the internet, which helps those companies in creating new and better strategic opportunities.
The internet and today’s forever changing technology have forced newspapers and publishing companies to revamp their business models. Newspaper and book publishers are changing their business models to those that create innovation outside of their core products. Prior to internet technology, newspaper/book business models had little record of innovation. Newspapers and book publishers must take better advantage of what the internet has to offer. For newspapers they could partner with Google or Yahoo, sharing in the revenue or charging for premium news and opinions.
One more option would be using Ebook technology and making their printed content readily available for quick downloads to Kindles and similar devices for a fee. Along with revenue earned by advertising the fees charged would help off set the costs of printing the news content in ink. Publishing companies are taking advantage of the internet by investing more money in the Kindle and IPad and less money in bound books. Devices like the Kindle and Ipad have revolutionized how people read books or get their news. Ebook technology could be the answer to the publishing worlds prayers with their ever growing popularity.
However for publishing companies to take advantage of that popularity they must develop a fee structure that will not just profit the device makers but them as well. By training their employees in internet technology, offering their content in multiple formats- printed or on digital demand viable business models could be developed by newspapers and book publishers. In order for printed newspapers or bound books to survive the impact of the internet, publishers must be willing to accept that the newspaper of yesterday is gone along with the bound book.
They have been replaced by faster, easier, and more condensed ways to deliver their content to the consumer. If newspapers and publishers can continue to figure out ways to cut the costs of printing and continue to think of innovative ways to receive fees for the content they deliver they just might be able to survive. No matter how fast or convenient it becomes to access the news or to acquire an Ebook, the feeling of cuddling up with a book with its pages marked and worn or the comfort the printed newspaper brings us at the breakfast table can not be replaced and those things are worth saving.