STM Publishers Embrace E-media’s Phase II
“This is where you see things like condensed, evidence-based medical information delivered to a physician at the point of care,” he says.
Hamer refers to this emerging model as “useful information in context,” meaning the ability to find and bring together relevant information from many sources in order to best serve a particular need. He cites as an example powerful online tools that allow users to analyze information and spot trends themselves, creating charts and documents that “enable them to use what they’ve discovered in their own workflow.”
“STM information is an ideal sector in which publishers who add significant value to comprehensive, timely and trusted information … can thrive,” Hamer adds.
Overall industry numbers indicate that STM publishers are succeeding in capitalizing on the new opportunities afforded by electronic formats. According to Strempel, the combined global STM market grew 4.4 percent to $14.1 billion in 2006 and is expected to grow at that pace in 2007.
A strategic market report released by Simba in June found that the medical publishing industry hit a new revenue high last year, growing 4.5 percent to $6.4 billion. The report also found the online segment growing the fastest among all content delivery segments last year—increasing 7.7 percent to $2.9 billion in the STM market.
The Biggest Challenges
“I think the No. 1 challenge STM publishers face is preparing for life after the transition from print products to electronic products is complete,” says Strempel, who notes that publishers who have benefited the most during this transitional period have been those with a large print business undergirding a portfolio of fast-growing electronic products.
“Eventually print will whittle down to a nice niche business in the areas where print still makes sense, and what you’ll be left with is stiff competition for growth in the electronic realm,” Strempel adds. “So what you have now is a lot of publishing executives who were brought up in a traditional print environment, trying to figure out what business models and strategies will work in an electronic marketplace that hasn’t fully developed yet.”