Cover Story: Publishers' Outlook 2012: The Industry's Next Bold Move
Howard: Does the battle that's currently going on in the e-reader/tablet space influence WKH?
Driscoll: Not really. We're making our titles available in multiple platforms, and our philosophy is we want to be wherever the customer is. Today in medicine, Apple—the iPad and the iPhone—are the predominant devices. That said, we sell a lot of medical products through the Kindle app, and we think it's [the app for] iPad.
Howard: Do you see a specific business area as having the most opportunity for revenue growth?
Driscoll: Not really. It's funny because I read the earnings reports from the big publishers, and everybody says the education market is troubled. … Actually, we're very optimistic … primarily because … with all the healthcare reform, there's more need for physicians, so there are a lot of new medical schools opening.
Howard: It sounds like you're doing quite a bit with mobile and anticipating more demand in that area going forward.
Driscoll: Absolutely. I think it's not necessarily "instead of." What we see in education is that students still prefer print, but they like the ability to have a mobile version of that print book. So it's not really either/or, it's both. And I think that for apps it's that they're really a replacement for the same kind of product, but they're new types of products. If you're a medical student, you have to study: You have the textbooks, but you might want your flashcards on a mobile app that you can take with you. We really focus on how and when people are using the different kinds of content that we create, then we're trying to figure out which of those are most likely to migrate to a mobile … or tablet device.
Howard: What process do you have for getting that kind of usage information?