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Reshaping the Conduit in Digital Delivery Channels – Ezra Ernst

Online marketing information can change quickly This article is 14 years and 272 days old, and the facts and opinions contained in it may be out of date.

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 – worked for Prentice Hall, Lippincot and many other large publishers

Swets is a content distribution subscription agent

  • -21 countries
  • -160 nations

  • -65,000 publishers are partners
  • -60,000 clients (institutions)

  • -1.8 million subscriptions
  • -180,000 publications

    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

    80/20 Rule aka Pareto principle
    First established by Vilfredo Pareto

    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 sales”

    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 niches”

  • -Chris Anderson
  • 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 “hits” or “best sellers” 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
    Bibliographic databases
    Review Materials
    Search – Federation, Google, In context
    Institutional repositories
    Standards – 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 – 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

  • -Web based portal, providing a single point of access
  • -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 – 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 – 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 – being able to search the longtail – iTunes being the prime example.

    Q: Can you provide some information on where the longtail intersects with the “hockey stick” of business revenue?

    A: top 8 companies are 40% of revenue – 30% comes from bottom 1/3
    80/20 applies to the top – and the bottom (longtail) keeps growing and growing

    Q: If you took away the new customer phenomena?

    A: Customer attrition is dropping – 98% are renewing with Swets – Industry average is 5 – 8% attrition. Managing transition from “P to E” is important

    Q: How many companies are moving
    A: Publishing is advertising driven and print won’t go away

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