EVP, Chief Content Officer and General Counsel
For decades the world has been shrinking as transportation and communication technologies transform it into a global village. And as we celebrate the next quarter century of the World Wide Web launched in 1989, I’m reminded when, as a teenager that same year, I witnessed in awe the tearing down of the Berlin Wall.
I didn’t really understand the implications those events would have, but looking back now, there is no doubt they both profoundly changed the world and humanity. They ushered in new ways of communicating, accessing information, cooperating and globalizing businesses, people and cultures making six degrees of separation feel more like three.
But with any disruption comes a double-edged sword of opportunity and challenge. Digital technology has fundamentally changed business, distribution and monetization models in publishing – changes that have instilled fear, uncertainty and doubt in many about the future of media.
And yet, at the same time, globalization has brought enormous opportunities to diversify, embrace new business models and reach new readers far beyond traditional distribution channels and borders – global audiences that have a voracious appetite for quality content.
Today we have unprecedented access to the world’s press only hampered by the walls being erected by some publishers around their content. But even while those barriers rise up, contrary to the will of the majority, we’re seeing others come down. This was the case with our recent partnership with China to bring thousands of their leading newspapers and magazines to the world.
Technology innovation has also taken investigative journalism to a whole new globalized level as we witnessed with the Panama Papers. But while the appreciation of quality content rises with readers and consumer-centric businesses who use it to differentiate themselves, many publishers continue to cut costs in the newsroom, devaluing their content in efforts to minimize losses, when they should be investing in it to maximize gains.
In this issue of The Insider, we’ll explore the opportunities for publishing to not just survive, but thrive in today’s connection and sharing economies by capitalizing on the three pillars of monetization.
We’ll showcase what other industries (hospitality and travel) are doing to, not only weather the storms of the digital and mobile revolution, but harness it to grow profits through loyalty.
And we’ll share how publishers can be high performers in product, process and business by applying the eight essentials of innovation throughout their organizations and exploiting the power of external networks and partnerships.
It’s been often said that publishing has been living in “interesting times.” And while many believe that to be a curse, I like to think of it as a blessing. It really is all about perception and how you respond to your own beliefs. Because as Henry Ford so profoundly said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.”