Prime Advantage Advisory

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PublishingPublishing – Sector Overview

Publishing, the activity of making information available to the general public, is an important industry in the UK despite physical publication declining in the wake of the rise of digital publishing. The invoiced value of UK book publishing sales (not including newspapers and periodicals) was £3.3bn in 2014, with 17% of this figure accounted for by digital sales. Additionally, exports of physical and digital books were worth £1.45bn to UK publishers in 2014.

 Recent times, however, have seen monumental changes to the magazine, newspaper and publishing industry. Consumers are increasingly seeking free content across a range of channels and will often actively avoid paying for a piece of content, instead seeking alternatives. Many publishers are struggling to leverage content in return for revenue, a problem which is exacerbated by the context of declining print circulation. The problem of keeping up with trends in the industry is also causing its share of trouble for publishing firms: for example, Facebook, Apple and Google have all launched online news outlets that compete for publishers’ content, promising advertising revenues in return for access to individual articles and ‘unbundled’ content. For many publishers, this is becoming an attractive way to maintain revenue in return for their ‘product’.

 There are however some positive trends for the industry: the rise of self-publishing, independent authors presents opportunities for publishing houses to generate revenue whilst reducing the risk to the publisher of a publication’s failure. The rise of on-screen reading also provides a serious opportunity for publishers to maximise revenue and profitability through reduced costs and the ability to bundle content for additional price at retail but without costing the publisher anymore. Opportunities to advertise using content and to turn it from a ‘flat print’ reading environment into interactive, value-adding services.

Publishing Sector Expert

Brian Farrugia - Managing Partner and : Travel & Transportation, Automotive, Service Industry and The Collaborative EconomyBrian Farrugia

To find out more about Brian’s views and insights on the Publishing Sector read his blog.