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Todd’s commentary: Ezra gave a great introduction to the conference as the keynote. Reshaping delivery channels seemed to be a very important focus of the conference, and he had an exceptional experience level in the field.
Notes on the session:
Ezra Ernst, CEO Swets North America
Background in publishing Ã¢â‚¬“ worked for Prentice Hall, Lippincot and many other large publishers
Swets is a content distribution subscription agent
-60,000 clients (institutions)
Epsco and Harrassowitz are the major competitors
Company is 105 years old in September.
STM: E-journals management as core business
Non-STM: Growing and representing one third
Idea has been gospel in traditional businesses for over 200 years that 80% of revenue is generated by 20% of the products. This is the best sellers.
The Long Tail
Created by Chris Anderson from October 2004 Wired article.
In an electronic world where physical inventory is not a key factor the 80/20 rule loses it’s meaning.
When inventory is limitless or near limitless the options for customers do not shrink but rather expand.
As a business model the long tail can be summed up as the “biggest business comes from the smallest salesÃ¢â‚¬Â
Rhapsody Music downloads in titles as an example.
Discusses discovery technique makes the long tail possible.
99% of rhapsody inventory gets download on a quarterly basis.
Information Discovery is the key to producing a long tail. If consumers are able to discover the content then there will be interest.
“Filters are people or software that help you find what you want in the long tail, driving demand from hits to nichesÃ¢â‚¬Â
Katherine Mossman (Library Journal, July 2006) point out that in the long tail model librarians and libraries play a key role:
- Libraries act as almost limitless inventory collections
- Librarians act as search filters
- Collection management by librarians is a constant work in progress
What do librarians need to buy the longtail?
How does the long tail apply to scholarly content?
Electronic content offerings allow of almost limitless content types, publishers and consumers
Global information marketplace is able to quickly reach a global audience (over 65k publishers worldwide)
Indexes, impact factors, publications types still generate “hitsÃ¢â‚¬Â or “best sellersÃ¢â‚¬Â which drive the publishing world but this model is changing.
Slight shift from content is king to customer is king, customers using statistics will determine what they want to buy.
Information Discovery drives changes
Search Ã¢â‚¬“ Federation, Google, In context
Standards Ã¢â‚¬“ new publishing models
Statisics (usage) drives the new dynamic
Usage becomes the most significant variable when determining collections Understanding how to measure
Evaluating usage statistics
Library collects and consolidates data Ã¢â‚¬“ generate reports for analysis
Result: An overwhelming process: Libraries must collect, consolidate and analyze statistics, and create reports from content providers
Counter + SUSHI + ScholarlyStats
-Vendor can now consolidate statistics and generate reports from automated queries
Evaluating Usage Statistics: Driving greater efficiency
-Aggregates usage data into overviews on a monthly basis
-Allow organizations to easily analyze usage statistics per journal, publisher, database, and platform
Discovery and statistics are the key
In order to reap the benefits of a long tail and the intellectual returns that this phenomena generates researches must discover all relevant content
In order to manage the long tail phenomena in a information marketplace statistics (usage) is a critical factor
Institutions must be able to measure the ROI on content purchases and continue to make the right choices for their constituents
Questions from the audience:
Q:As more content is more available from search engines Ã¢â‚¬“ Is there a need for digital rights management as licensing becomes more convoluted?
A: The reasons subscription agents won’t go away is because no librarian want to pay 10,000 invoices
You need to understand your Carnegie designation? Online solutions Ã¢â‚¬“ swetswise provides conduit to licensing and managing content.
Q: Comments on the long tail being released in the library new bookshelf
A: As the consumer Ã¢â‚¬“ being able to search the longtail Ã¢â‚¬“ iTunes being the prime example.
Q: Can you provide some information on where the longtail intersects with the “hockey stickÃ¢â‚¬Â of business revenue?
A: top 8 companies are 40% of revenue Ã¢â‚¬“ 30% comes from bottom 1/3
80/20 applies to the top Ã¢â‚¬“ and the bottom (longtail) keeps growing and growing
Q: If you took away the new customer phenomena?
A: Customer attrition is dropping Ã¢â‚¬“ 98% are renewing with Swets Ã¢â‚¬“ Industry average is 5 Ã¢â‚¬“ 8% attrition. Managing transition from “P to EÃ¢â‚¬Â is important
Q: How many companies are moving
A: Publishing is advertising driven and print won’t go away