By George Lossius, CEO at Ingenta


Welcome back to our 10 Publishing Trends to Look Out for in 2012 countdown. In our previous post, we hailed some of the worlds fastest growing academic publishing markets, took a glimpse at how social media is likely to impact publishing and noted the rapid introduction of the Semantic Web as a departure from traditional print-based models. Here is Part Two of the trends we can expect to feature on the publishing agenda throughout 2012:

5. The Open Access debate continues

Academic publishers have been wrestling with open access models for a while now, but could 2012 be the year that we witness a new industry standard? As the OA concept matures, this year will see more academic publishers trialling open access or hybrid variations for their online journals. It will be interesting to see if traditional academic publishers can take the lead on this, or, if not, how much of their market share will be eroded by the open access start-ups and new online only publishers.

4. Innovation from within

Keeping up with what Amazon, Google and Apple are doing will continue to be key -  publishers can ill afford not to do so – but sacrificing a large chunk of profit to these giants will see many companies becoming far more innovative and entrepreneurial as they look for ways to take fate back in their own hands. This year should see many publishers reaching beyond their comfort zones to create and pioneer innovations of their own. If this is not possible from within, we should see many more publishers partnering with companies from outside publishing that can assist them in pioneering new innovations.

3. Repackaging content

If formats are evolving apace, inevitably so too will publishers’ attitude towards the way their content is delivered. In 2012 we will see publishers repackaging, repurposing, bundling and integrating different strands of content, so that it can go that little bit further. New technology is providing publishers with a wealth of fresh challenges and experimenting and risk taking in this climate could prove pivotal to the success of publishing companies.

2. Multiply and conquer

In the trade markets, contrary to popular thinking, it’s not all about e-books - although this is an area that is without doubt helping publishers to grow revenues. Publishers are having to become much more dynamic in their approach to content dissemination, which means ensuring that mobile, tablet and online options are considered as a matter of course. With a growing number of potential reading devices and mechanisms out there, the most successful publishers are likely to be those who can accommodate multiple platforms and find ways to successfully monetize these diverse but potentially lucrative formats in the process. One of the key factors that will need to be considered throughout this process is ease of use and access for consumers and end-users.

1. Long live King Consumer

In recent years, the way content is presented, delivered, purchased and consumed has been overwhelmingly driven by end-user demand. E-reader and e-book technology is developing at a frightening rate as companies try to corner the market by matching or surpassing the reading experience of the printed book. We can expect this tendency to continue as technology, media and publishing companies tussle to innovate and cater to the whims of end-users, making content more affordable, easier to access and more desirable to the consumer. We will also see consumers rejecting poor or complex user interfaces and raising their expectations of the way they receive content.