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Another Brick in the Pay Wall: Views on Publishing’s Future

At Columbia’s Public Offering blog, Rita McGrath discussed What Will the Publishing Industry Do Next?. “A new development is that the Web itself is starting to splinter. In the early days, you had one way of accessing online content– that was through a computer — and developers could optimize for a certain kind of user experience. Today, people access content in myriad ways that are not always compatible with each other or optimized. A developer or a publisher has to decide whether to hit every platform or optimize for Blackberry, iPad or some other platform. They have to ask, ‘What is going to be our platform of choice?’

The content business model will be less driven by the need to aggregate the most eyeballs on a common platform, and move towards a model determined by the ecosystem that can draw the most participants. For example, Apple is trying to create a vertically integrated ecosystem with its products and partners. Rival ecosystems will start to compete for business with publishers, and media companies and content providers will watch to see where people are participating.

Publishers will have to come up with ways to monetize their participation in an ecosystem. There is hope that content providers can cut themselves more lucrative deals on these coming platforms.

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