Thursday, December 27, 2007

Reviewing Our Predictions For 2007

At this time of year every paper is looking both back over the last 12 months and forward over the next. Predictions are made and quickly forgotten so what did we envisage for 2007 and how accurate were our predictions?

We got some wrong:

· Macmillan’s audio MP3 player. Made less of a noise and more of a whimper and certainly didn’t create any momentum. Wrong
· 508 compliance. Still an issue too far for many and has still to have the impact the US government seek. Wrong
· New technology, in the form of OLED screens, or the Hearst reader. The screen technology has still to make its impact. Wrong

We got some right:
· The announcement and initial roll out of a new distribution environment and services to support digital content within the existing channel. Gardners Digital Services announced and starting to move forward. Right
· The start of real POD services based not on short print runs but distributed printing at affordable prices. POD still moving at pace and people now looking to distribute to print rather than print and distribute. Foyles looked at the Espresso machine. Right
· Richer and richer bibliographic services and the need for every publisher to engage in its provision, even if they don’t sell digital content. Spot on and the world went widget mad.
· Increased importance of Internet sales, emarketing and community engagement and participation. The Internet is clearly here and becoming pervasive in all markets. For the bookstores it is now a must do. Right
· Omnivore fears will stoke more publishers to join their ranks but major publishers will continue to build their repositories and control their digital assets. Right fear and uncertainty made the biggest critics spread their bets and the libraries queue got even longer.

And some are hard to measure:
· Booksellers will increasingly sell old, used, new and digital side by side. Not yet but certainly coming

So we must now compile our list for 2008...