The media used to deliver electronic content in the publishing industry is continually expanding. Publishers have adapted to many changes in books and magazines, and are now dealing with changes in web access, on-demand access to content, and the distribution of audio.
Speaking of audio…
This article in the Wall Street Journal highlights the growth of audio books, claiming it is the fastest-growing format in the publishing industry. Sales in the U.S. and Canada jumped 21% in 2015 from 2014, according to the Audio Publisher’s Association. Revenues from hardcover books and paperbacks may be declining, and even the use of e-books is showing signs of declining sales, but revenues from digital downloads are increasing.
Changing technology and changing behaviors
Reading a story aloud is nothing new. It’s how the earliest stories were passed down from generation to generation. Books on tape have long enjoyed a loyal following and when CDs replaced tapes, they became less bulky and easier to use. Now, with the ubiquitous nature of mobile phones, books on MP3 are a natural extension of that technology. Streaming audio has allowed a new mode of offerings from applications like Audible, Whispersynch, Harper Audio, and Penguin Random House Audio.
Smartphones deliver the audio content
For both cassettes and CD’s, you have to buy and carry around a specific physical device, and e-books have been criticized for their single-user proprietary format. However, audio-books, like other podcasts, can be played on nearly every smartphone, tablet, or computer and enjoyed---and shared---while participating in most daily activities.
How consumers “consume” the media in today’s multi-tasking, fast paced world
Audio books used to be popular mainly for long road trips, although they have also been a primary learning format for the visually impaired or those with reading impediments. Now, however, schools have begun to use audio books to select specific content, chapters, or sections from a variety of texts. Recently, audio books have become the favorite format for those on the go and active with day-to-day activities. They are the format of choice for multi-tasking book lovers, as well as for those who just can’t sit long enough to turn physical pages. People listen while cleaning the house, doing yard work, exercising, or watching children’s sporting events and practices. They can be taken anywhere without the need to remember to pick up something additional on the trip---it’s already been loaded on the phone.
How publishers can keep pace with evolving media
Publishers continuously monitor trends and use the information to alter their offerings and promote new formats to better meet the needs of their consumers. But when it’s time to market, sell and deliver, many publishers fail to have a software platform that can handle their ever-evolving needs.
AdvantageCS’s software solution continually evolves to keep pace with the changes in the industry. Our clients upgrade regularly to keep current with technology and new functionality. They know that wherever the industry is headed, in whatever format, Advantage will be there to help ease the transition and provide a technical solution.