Leadership During the Digital Disruption and the Future of the Content Industry

Digital disruption is not unique to the prek-12 market. But due to a host of factors—policy, funding and adoption cycles, and the need to measure educational impact and efficacy—it tends to be far more complex. Mike Shatzkin, Founder and CEO of The Idea Logical Company and a recognized thought leader for the impact of digital on trade publishing, will open the 2015 AAP PreK-12 Learning Group CEO Roundtable with a big picture look at how technology affects all aspects of publishing. From business infrastructure to new sales opportunities, he will discuss strategies that can help education company leaders strengthen their business plans and avoid being left behind. Below are insights from Shatzkin’s blog The Shatzkin Files and interviews on key issues surrounding digital disruption.

On consumers moving from desktop to mobile: “I think book publishers would be wise to focus on the marketing and consumption opportunities these shifts enable (or require) rather than letting this tech change entice them down the enhanced ebook rabbit hole yet another time. Mobile device usage replacing PC usage actually favors old-time book-reading, since limited screen real estate is not a handicap. But the processes of discovery and the means of purchase could be radically shifted.” “The implications of the computer moving from the desktop to our hip pocket,” The Shatzkin Files (Nov. 4, 2014)

On the relationship between start-ups and established publishers: “Publishers sometimes say, “these start-ups come in, they don’t know what they’re talking about and they don’t know about our business,” and start-ups say, “these publishers are hopeless. They don’t want to change; they don’t want to experiment. We came and we offered them an opportunity to experiment for free and they claim they don’t have the time and that they are doing experiments already. You have these two constituencies — established publishers who know they need to change but are frustrated by start-ups and the start-ups who can help with change but don’t have the know-how and the relationships.” “Do Publishers Need Start-ups? No, Shatzkin Says,” Interview with Jeremy Greenfield, Digital Book World (November 11, 2013)

On the next generation, how they access content, and the book of the future: “I think that the, first of all, the book business has always done better with older people than younger people…except obviously when kids are in school; they have books for school. But in terms of books for entertainment or personal gratification, they’ve always been an older market rather than a younger market…I think that what we’re going to see is a lot of content packaged in complex ways, but I’m not sure that book publishers are going to be a part of that business. I think animators will be. I think movie studios will be. I think there’s a lot of foundation for other kinds of products, but I’m not sure what book publishing expertise does to add value there.” “Publishing Perspectives: An Interview with Industry Expert Mike Shatzkin,” Interview with Gabriela Loschi, Widbook official blog, (October 16, 2013)

At the CEO Roundtable Leadership During Disruption, an exclusive event for C-level executives in the learning resource industry, attendees will discuss leadership and business strategy in the education market. It will take place December 7 in New York. Find out more.

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