Are publishers making digital pay?

A seminar I saw at SSP this year set me thinking about a phrase we use a lot in our industry – the transition to digital – and how deceptively easy it makes the whole thing sound.

The Dr Steve Pettifer (whom we hope to feature on this blog in the near future) and others is staring to point to a very different shape for this format, using semantic linking to embed data, images and cited articles in the text; ‘messing with’ the pdf in very useful ways.

Very little remains fixed for long in digital, and the neither the current needs and requirements expressed by users – or their apparent satisfaction with what is currently on offer – have the last word on what technology will provide, and what those same users will welcome with open arms, though they can’t currently visualise it as an available option. Nobody knew they needed an iPod until Apple invented one, much less a smartphone. And iTunes might have seemed the perfect way of accessing and organizing one’s online musical collection – until Spotify arrived.

So along with that wobble in the knees occasioned by stepping off the land onto a less stable, dependable medium; along with the uncertainty of a shifting horizon, comes a good deal of excitement. It’s a voyage of discovery we’re on; a quest for new relationships, new felicities; but to find the buried treasure in terms of an approach that really pays off for your company, you need a sound digital strategy – and of course the right partners to inform and advise you on the journey.

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