Publishing is an industry at the heart of the social, cultural, educational and political life of the UK. Like other sectors of the creative industries and the wider economy, the consumer publishing sector is currently experiencing a period of significant change and development, driven by the rapid growth of the internet and by the development of new digital platforms such as smartphones, ebook readers and iPads.
Although these developments are clearly creating new commercial opportunities, the have disrupted traditional business models reliant on print advertising revenues and supply chain retail models and are also creating significant challenges, especially for smaller independent publishers.
In 2010 Nesta worked with research agency BML Bowker to understand what impact digital technology has had, and is likely to have, on SME publishers. The research highlighted the areas of greatest potential and concern for SMEs, as well as a need for greater openness about the digital experimentation and resulting business growth across the sector.
As a follow up to the research, Nesta supported Cyprus Well, Media Futures and Plymouth University to run a programme 'The Future of Publishing' including workshops, hands-on product/service development, conferences and the production of a case study resource.
This report captures the key lessons from the programme with detailed examples of digital innovation across the sector.
The results from the survey of SME publishers from April 2011 can be viewed here.
This report summarises the key lessons from the programme looking at the impact digital technology has had, and is likely to have, on SME publishers.
Download the report