The history of digital reading in a fascinating one and I believe exploring its development arc helps predict the trends that may lie ahead. Thinking about what worked early on – meaning what was read in digital form – use cases where search, find, and quick read were the primary means of interacting with the content, such as encyclopedias and reference works, directories and other data driven compendia.
I recently had the pleasure of interviewing two of the most influential forces in publishing today: Cathie Black of Hearst and Jane Friedman of Open Road Integrated Media at the Publishing Business Expo. We spent an hour talking about the impact of digital on the book and magazine industries and both Cathie and Jane were immensely impressive. To open our session entitled Reinventing ‘s Publishing Company, Cathie and Jane each spent 10 minutes in their opening remarks. Jane presented the 4-layered “cake” that is the structure of Open Road, and Cathie played a video and followed it up with an overview of the goal behind the massive effort that will roll out behind the campaign entitled “Magazines, The Power of Print.”
After she played the video Cathie said “We don’t have a print problem in magazine publishing, we have an advertising problem.” I couldn’t agree more.