Last week Emilie Delquie of our sister company, PCG, presented at the ASA Conference on what she believed were the challenges facing publishers, libraries and intermediaries in the post-digital age.

Using the conference's tagline The Best Way To Predict The Future Is To Invent It' as a starting point, Emily's presentation set out her vision for how intermediaries and subscription agents' very flexibility is core to them securing their place in the publishing value chain.

Intermediaries are now faced by new business models all the time. Services are constantly being introduced in response to factors such as increasing pressures on library budgets, the evolving expectations from end-users and the tumultuous economic context around the world. Publishersā€™ offerings are evolving and it is not only the role of the modern intermediary to evolve with them, but also to anticipate the next best strategies with them.

Emilie's presentation compares and contrasts the needs and wants of publishers, libraries and end users, setting out how intermediaries can help serve them. For example, she explains that ultimately want to be perceived as innovators in their field with strong delivery tools and good usage statistics a pathway to achieving more subscribers. Librarians, however, operate in a very different environment, and look to the organisations they work with to gain a true understanding of how they work and what administrative challenges they face. This means they appreciate more automated processes and systems that deliver uninterrupted access while working in familiar ways. And then for end users, who now - thanks particularly to Google - expect free access to everything, all the time, plus the ability to share content with social and professional networks, the seamless access experience is paramount.

Ensuring that all participants in this process get what they need from it will, Emilie says, require exactly the kind of flexibility that intermediaries are set up to deliver. These businesses are ideally placed to actas a mediator between both parties, providing valuable services such as working with publishers to monitor and boost usage, and with libraries on the training and discovery tools that will empower users.

We've embedded Emilie's presentation below. We hope you find it useful and please let us know your comments.