BEA Show Notes: idpf's Digital Book 2012 Monday Recap: DRM, Digital Revenue and Data (oh, my!)
One of the concurrent conferences under the BookExpo America umbrella, the International Digital Publishing Forum's (idpf) sold-out Digital Book 2012 has, for the last two days, tackled the digital reading from a multitude of angles, and with specific emphasis on Business & Marketing, Technology & Production, and Education & Professional.
As we eagerly anticipate Book Business blogger extraordinaire and general man-on-the-scene Eugene G. Schwartz to weigh in with his detailed conference recap and analysis, we'll provide some quick takes from day one of the two-day conference.
Monday kicked off with a morning of keynotes beginning with the inimitable Seth Godin (we hear he was good; we missed all but his adieu thanks to some confusion at registration).
Following Godin, Ernie Sander, Executive Director of GigaOm and PaidContent.org, addressed the breakfast crowd on the topic of "Emerging Models for Content Monetization." Sander highlighted the New York Times' impressive advances in acquiring digital subscriptions, noting that in just one and a half years since instituting a pay wall, the Grey Lady has amassed 450,000 digital subscribers, or more than one third of its print total. He also noted how digital has spurred print growth, as a bundled pricing plan for digital plus the Sunday print edition has Sunday circulation growing again. He noted that the strategy seems to be to keep print alive as long as it can and build up digital in the meantime.
Next, a publishers' roundtable moderated by the IDPF's Bill McCoy and consisting of Bloomsbury's Richard Charkin, Random House's Madeline McIntosh and Open Road's Jane Friedman addressed the ways ebooks are changing the business. Topics bandied included:
-Branding in the Ebook Era: Friedman noted that since publishers have long considered authors and not the publisher to be the brand, her Open Road Integrated Media considers itself more of a digital marketing company than a publisher. McIntosh, specifically addressing ebook originals, noted that she did not believe that the absence of a physical artifact equated with diminished value.
Related story: Publishers Launch: DRM is Genre Fiction Poison