In recent times, the publishing industry has adopted cutting-edge technologies and is changing the way content is delivered. In a highly competitive world, the publishing eco-system has to deliver an error-free output with minimum turnaround time. In addition, they need to innovate and offer the best value to clients, who constantly demand something new and robust to keep audiences engaged, and content monetized.
Cloud-based content delivery systems are the new industry standard. The industry always strives to deliver content which is platform agnostic, interactive, intuitive, and seamless.
Protecting Data and Privacy- Adapting to the Change
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union, allows for data protection and privacy of individuals within the European Union. This law affects the marketing and outreach activities undertaken by digital publishers.
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is proving to be a hurdle in the digital publishing process. The European Union’s recent implementation of this law to protect personal data is set to affect the future of digital publishing solution providers and publishers will have to alter their standard operating procedures.
Mr. Subrat Mohanty, CEO of Hurix Digital says, Restrictions on gathering reader information are inevitable. “If readers refuse to share their details, then publishers will have little to no analytical data, which may impact the overall implementation of new strategies, it will also influence retargeting ads, which publishers rely on, by capturing targeted reader information. Some dip in programmatic ad spending is highly likely, as publishers will not get proper data on whether a specific advertisement has led to a purchase.”
Deploying Artificial Intelligence – Being the Early Adopters
Artificial Intelligence is a new technology that can affect the entire content cycle starting from content creation to content transformation and delivery. AI optimized automated workflow can deliver error-free output with minimum turnaround time and almost negligible human intervention. These changes can have a positive effect on the speed to market, quality, and consistency of the content.
Adopting bleeding edge technologies and integrating them in standard workflows can enable businesses to get the best output delivered in minimum throughput time via automation.
Industry experts predict Natural Language Processing and AI will lead to automated content curation, inclusive publishing, resulting in engaging user experiences. Machine algorithms will route the content according to its nature and complexity to the production process.
Embracing the Old and the New – Changing industry standards
The industry adapts to the (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous) VUCA environment by deploying newer technologies with an aim to deliver value to their clients. The industry is advancing towards mobile first content at a rapid pace.
Mr. Mohanty, says, “The shift from abandoning age-old Flash technology to HTML5 is aimed at achieving better user engagement. Now, the industry is adopting AR, which, along with enhanced user experience, is expected to bridge the gap between physical and digital books. However, most publishers find this shift expensive, in addition to being unsure of its long-term benefits to their audience—and this poses a roadblock to further digitization and technology development in the industry.”
Additionally, Subrat finds that those who have already made the switch to digital platforms are struggling to keep their readers engaged. “The younger generation, with its short attention span, puts great pressure on the digital publishing industry to innovate and improve the engagement levels of their e-books,”
The industry certainly needs to work towards creating production workflows which are geared towards mobile content. The industry has already adapted their traditional workflows with accessibility standards to enable the delivery of ‘born accessible’ workflows.
Talking Dollars and Sense – Providing value
Clients expect the best quality from digital publishers but are willing to invest less due to an array of digital publishing solutions available.
Scholarly journal publishers are consolidating the number of digital publishing vendors they use; they work on services and solutions at optimized price points and seek vendors who invest in technology. While these clients also expect innovation, they may not be too keen to invest. These lead to margin pressures for vendors, because of rising production costs and continuous expectations for price optimization.
Content monetization is an area of concern for clients. Clients wonder the feasibility of investing in digital publishing technologies to monetize their content. New technologies are introduced frequently, in such scenarios future-ready content can generate a better Return on Investment.
Ongoing Industry Transition – Preparing for the Change
Content enhanced with technology offers a better experience of learning and reading. Digitally savvy consumers want access to content on their mobile devices. This shift in the content consumption habits of the consumers also encourages digital publishing platforms to evolve and address the demand.
The trending concept of OERs (Open Educational Resources) in educational publishing has encouraged digital publishing companies to gear up and strategize to create a competitive edge from this opportunity.
In recent years adoption of various technologies, such as production workflow tools, marketing automation tools, Augmented Reality integration, Blockchain, and Artificial Intelligence have gained momentum. The challenge now lies in keeping pace with technology and also leveraging it to gain a strategic advantage.
Addressing Digitization Hiccups
Publishers in highly competitive environments have concerns about profit margins and production budgets, high demand for interactive e-learning, shorter turnaround time, and aim to produce innovative methodologies across all streams.
On the supplier side, fast-changing technologies mean that the choice is to either innovate or be left behind. This involves incurring supplementary costs of human resources, training and much more.
Offering a better product to the client is always on the priority list. Publishers aim at building a system that is comprehensive but still malleable enough to adapt to the different ways that publishers work. A user-friendly interface easy enough to be used by every participant in the publishing process eliminates bottlenecks in the workflow.
Publishers must also realize that the future of the content industry is going to be shaped by automation, Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain and Big Data will be of more value, and businesses will revolve around the ability to adapt. Thus, the faster the publishing industry evolves and adopt new technologies, the better they can serve accordingly profits will be affected.
Hurix Digital is among the top Indian-based companies to offer innovative tech-driven content and digital publishing solutions. In the interview with the Publishers Weekly, the company’s CEO, Mr. Subrat Mohanty speaks about its new product KITABOO AR, which has the potential of changing the way content is delivered and read:
Augmented Reality is about to take learning to the next level. Kitaboo AR is a cloud-based digital publishing platform to create, publish, and distribute interactive mobile-friendly digital content. With its capability to integrate augmented reality on content and replicate the pages of a print book. Augmented Reality will add features such as embedded multimedia, easier navigation, word search, and links that can breathe life into content. By seamlessly bringing physical content and digital media together, learning becomes more engaging and immersive.
With Kitaboo AR, publishers can upload digital assets like audio, video, or external links to overlay in their physical books. Students will be able to point an app-enabled device at a specific page and discover AR-enabled content which is superimposed over the regular content.
The app looks for the scanned page in the e-reader application, and upon finding a match, brings up the page and showcases all the digital assets that are linked to the page. In brief, Kitaboo AR is designed for publishers to make the most of their digital presence, improve content engagement.
The latest update of Kitaboo AR enables readers to interact with digital assets. For e.g. in the case of an assessment, students can view answers to the question instantly. Now publishers can save on costs, additional time and effort. With Kitaboo AR, they can simply upload the solved question pages together with their e-books and allow readers to locate.
Kitaboo AR is based on Hurix’s flagship product, Kitaboo, which has won the Brandon Hall Group Excellence Award for five consecutive years. Says Mr. Mohanty,
“Our understanding of the challenges publishers face in engaging tech-savvy readers and learners has led us to Kitaboo AR”. “This platform is now used by educational publishers, to enterprises where it can elevate the training and development experience.”
The Hurix team is also working on a reflowable ePUB3 tool—in addition to the existing fixed-layout tool—to allow publishers to create device-agnostic content automatically. “A tech-savvy audience is always on our mind,” Mohanty says, “and we work with our publishing clients to develop and enhance products and solutions that will keep this audience engaged.”
(Note: It was originally published on Publishers Weekly.)
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