Entitle CEO Bryan Batten Has His Mind on Mobile and Big Data in 2015
Do you think big data can also be used to determine the content of future books?
Absolutely. I think there is so much that people can learn in the path after the sale. Before you only knew that someone bought the book. You never knew what happened after that. You didn't really know if someone was tearing through the book or if they were abandoning it. Publishers can take that information now and make more informed decisions about their books.
Our recommendation system actually reads the content of books so you can find lesser-known authors who are writing similar content to say a Lee Child. How can you get that lesser-known author in front of a bigger group of people? Or as a publisher, can you sign that lesser known author early in their career and build them into a Lee Child? I think there are a lot of interesting things that people can do with big data.
Is direct-to-consumer selling a viable revenue strategy for publishers? What concerns might publishers have?
It's certainly feasible that publishers can get into D2C. It's not as simple as building a website or an app and saying, "Now we're a direct to consumer company." I don't think there is a publisher out there who doesn't have a way for readers to buy directly from their site. For them to actually get into direct-to-consumers sales in a significant way, it wouldn't be an easy task. You have to learn a completely new business of getting customers in the door. It's a new skillset they would have to bring on versus what they already have in house.
How have publishers' marketing strategies changed in light of the rise of online book buying?
Publishers and retailers need to think a little outside the box in terms of the audience they are going after. How can you find different groups of people that share the interest of reading? Publishers have turned to Urban Outfitters, which now sells a lot of books. That's not a place where you would think publishers would sell books, but they are looking for alternative channels as more bookstores close and we need to do something similar in the digital world.