MonthOctober 2015

publishing in the news in October

  1. Anna Baddeley. (20 July 2015). App could turn America’s poor into lifelong readers. The Guardianhttp://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/jul/20/app-americas-poor-lifelong-readers.
  2. Alison Flood. (24 July 2015). Ebooks are unfamiliar waters for digital pirates, according to UK survey. The Guardianhttp://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/jul/24/ebook-pirate-uk-statistics-2015
  3. S. M. (23 September 2015). E-books, price fixing and the Supreme Court: Apple goes to Washington. The Economisthttp://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2015/09/e-books-price-fixing-and-supreme-court?zid=319&ah=17af09b0281b01505c226b1e574f5cc1
  4. DBW. (October 9, 2015). Digital Publishing at the Frankfurt Book Fair. DBW. http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2015/digital-publishing-at-the-frankfurt-book-fair/
  5. Nathaniel Philippe. (October 9, 2015). The commoditization of content production and how it affects digital publishing.
  6. Rude Baguette.https://www.rudebaguette.com/2015/10/09/the-commoditization-of-content-production-and-how-it-affects-digital-publishing/
  7. http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/columns-and-blogs/soapbox/article/68319-publishers-amazon-not-to-blame-for-author-poverty-wages.html
  8. Alter, Alexandra. (September 22, 2015). The Plot Twist: E-Book Sales Slip, and Print Is Far From Dead. The New York Times.http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/23/business/media/the-plot-twist-e-book-sales-slip-and-print-is-far-from-dead.html?_r=2
  9. Deahl, Rachel. (October 9, 2015). Book Deals: Week of October 12, 2015. Publishers Weekly. http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/book-deals/article/68334-book-deals-week-of-october-12-2015.html
  10. Gianni Mascioli. (Sep 20, 2015). Will Ad-Blocking Millennials Destroy Online Publishing Or Save It? Forbes. http://www.forbes.com/sites/giannimascioli/2015/09/20/will-ad-blocking-millennials-destroy-online-publishing-or-save-it/
  11. John Biggs. (Oct 3, 2015). Pronoun, A Self-Publishing Platform For Authors, Is Ready To Serve Humanity. Tech Crunch.http://techcrunch.com/2015/10/03/pronoun-a-self-publishing-platform-for-authors-is-ready-to-serve-humanity/
  12. Hannah Wang’ombe and Winnie Nguyu. (Oct 6, 2015). Kenya: Digital Future Can Transform Publishing and Raise Profits. All Africa. http://allafrica.com/stories/201510060599.html
  13. Michael Kozlowski. (October 12, 2015). Canadian Libraries are fed up with high e-book prices. GoodEReader.http://goodereader.com/blog/digital-library-news/canadian-libraries-are-fed-up-with-high-e-book-prices
  14. Hollie Shaw. (June 29. 2015). Why Indigo Books & Music Inc CEO Heather Reisman believes we are on the cusp of bricks and mortar renaissance. The Financial Post. http://business.financialpost.com/news/retail-marketing/why-indigo-books-music-inc-ceo-heather-reisman-believes-we-are-on-the-cusp-of-a-bricks-and-mortar-renaissance
  15. Michael Kozlowski. (September 12, 2015). Oyster is Shutting Down their e-Book Subscription Service. GoodEReader.http://goodereader.com/blog/e-book-news/oyster-is-shutting-down-their-e-book-subscription-service
  16. http://business.financialpost.com/news/retail-marketing/why-indigo-books-music-inc-ceo-heather-reisman-believes-we-are-on-the-cusp-of-a-bricks-and-mortar-renaissance
  17. http://business.financialpost.com/news/retail-marketing/e-book-sales-are-flattening-but-does-that-mean-the-technology-is-dying-as-consumers-unplu
  18. and newer: https://thebookishclothesehorse.wordpress.com/2015/10/07/acknowledging-the-artifact-how-we-privilege-physical-books-and-undermine-reading/
  19. Swoon Reads: http://mashable.com/2013/10/28/swoon-reads/#6xJndBkiGGqO
  20. Amazon Kindle Scout: http://techcrunch.com/2015/09/09/amazons-kindle-scout-crowdsourced-publishing-platform-expands-globally-remains-english-only/
  21. Dale, Brady. (2015, October 8). Surprise: Print Does Better When Publishers Jack Up E-Book Prices. The Observer. http://observer.com/2015/10/surprise-print-does-better-when-publishers-jack-up-ebook-prices/
  22. Pritchett, Bob. (2015, October 8). Why Digital Platform Solutions Are Needed in Academic Publishing. Digital Publishing News.http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2015/why-digital-platform-solutions-are-needed-in-academic-publishing/
  23. 1)https://medium.com/@pronoun/how-to-fix-book-publishing-e40a04ffd804
  24. 2)Background on Pronoun http://techcrunch.com/2015/06/17/pronoun-funding/
  25. 3)There really cool website
    https://pronoun.com/
  26. 1)Pronoun (May.18,2015). How to Fix Book Publishing. Medium.
    https://medium.com/@pronoun/how-to-fix-book-publishing-e40a04ffd804
    A little more background on the company and what stage of funding they are in
  27. 2)Anthony Ha (June.17,2015).Relaunched Self Publishing Platform Pronoun Raises $3.5 Million. TechCrunch. http://techcrunch.com/2015/06/17/pronoun-funding/
  28. Author Earnings (Sep. 14, 2015) September 2015 Author Earnings Report. http://authorearnings.com/report/september-2015-author-earnings-report
  29. This article challenges the reports made by the media that the traditional publishing industry is stabilizing through their own research and dissection of other reports, pointing out the flaws in their methodology.
  30. DBW (June 10, 2015) New AAP Figures Show Ebook Growth Mostly Flat. http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2015/new-aap-figures-show-ebook-growth-mostly-flat/
  31. I chose this article, as it is the exact type of reporting the previous article was referring to. It gives a funny juxtaposition.
  32. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-b-thompson/future-of-books_b_1501182.html
  33. http://goodereader.com/blog/electronic-readers/the-digital-publishing-industry-is-thriving-in-germany-in-2015
  34. http://fortune.com/2015/09/24/ebook-sales/
  35. John Biggs. (Oct 3, 2015). Pronoun, A Self-Publishing Platform For Authors, Is Ready To Serve Humanity. Tech Crunch.http://techcrunch.com/2015/10/03/pronoun-a-self-publishing-platform-for-authors-is-ready-to-serve-humanity/
  36. Hannah Wang’ombe and Winnie Nguyu. (Oct 6, 2015). Kenya: Digital Future Can Transform Publishing and Raise Profits. All Africa. http://allafrica.com/stories/201510060599.html
  37. Jen Webb. 2013. Publishing News: Our brains on screens: http://toc.oreilly.com/2013/04/digital-vs-paper-reading-churnalism-cookbook-publishing.html
  38.   (October 6, 2015) Will you buy the Microsoft Surface 4 to read e-books? Good E-readers. http://goodereader.com/blog/e-book-news/will-you-buy-the-microsoft-surface-4-to-read-e-books
  39. (September 28, 2015) Young Kids Want their Parents to Read to Them. Good E-readers.
    http://goodereader.com/blog/e-book-news/young-kids-want-their-parents-to-read-to-them
  40. Holger Heimann (October 10th 2015), How publishers deal with politically persecuted authors, Deutsche Welle.
    http://www.dw.com/en/how-publishers-deal-with-politically-persecuted-authors/a-18656649
  41.  http://www.wired.com/2015/08/self-publishing-good-authors-book-industry/
  42. This is just the short upper piece, but has nice context regarding self-publishing. I thought it was interesting. http://www.newrepublic.com/article/115010/publishing-industry-thriving
  43. Will you buy the Microsoft Surface 4 to read e-books?
    http://goodereader.com/blog/e-book-news/will-you-buy-the-microsoft-surface-4-to-read-e-books
  44. Young Kids Want their Parents to Read to Them
    http://goodereader.com/blog/e-book-news/young-kids-want-their-parents-to-read-to-them
  45. Paul Sawers. (October 13, 2005). Amazon commits $10M over the next 5 years to help translate books into English. Venture Beat.http://venturebeat.com/2015/10/13/amazon-commits-10m-over-the-next-5-years-to-help-translate-books-into-english/
  46. Colin Lecher. (October 13, 2015). Apple may finally lose its ebook antitrust monitor. The Verge. http://www.theverge.com/2015/10/13/9519651/apple-antitrust-monitor-ruling
    (here’s an article explaining antitrust: http://www.investopedia.com/terms/a/antitrust.asp)
  47. Richard Lawler. (October 13, 2015). Internet porn has pushed Playboy Magazine to go PG-13. Engadget. Retrieved from http://www.engadget.com/2015/10/12/pg-13-playboy/
  48.  Palmer, Alex. (September 25, 2015). “Book Marketing 201.” Publishers Weekly. http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/authors/pw-select/article/68179-book-marketing-201.html
  49. Shatzkin, Mike. (August 31, 2015). “The Audience Information Sheet is more useful than the Title Information Sheet for marketers (and for publicity and sales too).” The Idea Logical Company. http://www.idealog.com/blog/the-audience-information-sheet-is-more-useful-than-the-title-information-sheet-for-marketers-and-for-publicity-and-sales-too
  50. Harvey, Ellen. (October 9, 2015). First Half of 2015 Not a Great Start for Book Publishers. Book Business Mag. http://www.bookbusinessmag.com/article/first-half-2015-great-start-book-publishers/
    This article summarizes the book publisher sales for the first half of 2015, in which there is an overall decline in both e-books and hard copies. It’s interesting to see actual numbers since this relates directly to our class – we have talked about the possible decline of traditional publishing as well as that e-books sales are not doing that great either.
  51. Sands, Janice. (April 16, 2015). Self-Publishing Platforms: Women’s Playground or Last Resort? .Huffington Post. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/janice-sands/selfpublishing-platforms-_b_7080516.html. This article talks about the gender gap that exists in the publishing industry and that self-publishing is a resort for women to publish without getting “shut out of traditional publishing avenues.” We have talked about self-publishing in class and I think this article brings to light some of the reasons why people, or women in particular, turn to self-publishing – because it may be their only avenue to publish something.
  52.  Here’s why good editors are future-proof http://teleread.com/chris-meadows/editors-are-still-important-in-the-digital-era/ I enjoyed this article as it touched on the publishing side which I feel that we haven’t focused on as much in class. I find it interesting that the article mentions that self-published works could in fact end up with higher quality editing than those published through a house.
  53. Expelliarmus! ‘Harry Potter’ Reborn In New Apple Inc. eBook Version Of J.K. Rowling Classic http://www.ibtimes.com/expelliarmus-harry-potter-reborn-new-apple-inc-ebook-version-jk-rowling-classic-2132618 This article gives an example of ways in which books are becoming more interactive – these ‘enhanced’ ebooks offer special features not possible with a print book. It also shows that ebooks are valuable for successful authors as a way of relaunching their successful works.
  54. Holger Heimann. (13 October 2015). How publishers deal with politically persecuted authors. Deutsche Welle. http://www.dw.com/en/how-publishers-deal-with-politically-persecuted-authors/a-18656649 The first article discusses how various publishers in Europe take it upon themselves to publish those works from the Middle East that are banned or condemned and their authors persecuted by the country. The piece has me questioning the motives of these European publishing ‘saviours,’ and whether they should really be flaunting the fact that they’re making profit from publishing as a means of upholding ‘human rights.’
  55. Abby Rosmarin. (18 September 2015) What I learned from self-publishing my book. The Huffington Post. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/abby-rosmarin/what-i-learned-from-selfp_b_8141776.html The second article is written by a woman who documented the things she learned from self-publishing her first book. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, self-publishing can be a extensively stressful and emotionally turbulent process. Far more than I thought it was. Either that or this author is just very mentally unstable. Cheers!
  56. https://www.greenleft.org.au/node/60289 This link drives home the big publishers vs little publishers example of when big publishers only publish already big authors and are focused on profits rather than having niche books
  57. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/books/what-to-read/super-thursday-8-october-publishing/ this link gives data of print vs online reading
  58. Laura Godfrey. (September 18, 2015). Canadian Publishing 2015: Publishers Find Mixed Bag in Falling Loonie. Publishers Weekly. http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/childrens/childrens-book-news/article/68089-canadian-publishing-2015-publishers-find-mixed-bag-in-falling-loonie.html.

The Copyright Laws for the Music and Book Industry

When you think about the publishing and music industry, there are many similarities between the two. They are both industries that provide entertainment for their audience, an avenue to send a message and provide thought. With the introduction of the Internet, both the music and publishing industry have been greatly affected. The creators now have an opportunity to publish their work in a different outlet and are no longer relying on corporations to distribute their work. However, even with these amazing opportunities, they face new challenges in this digital realm. The biggest obstacle for both industries is online copyright. This paper will be discussing the similarities that both industries face dealing with material that is posted online.

 

The Internet has brought a lot of changes to the world. Traditionally we have large corporations as the ones who have all the power. In terms of the publishing and music industries, the big publishing companies and the record labels are the ones who have the finances to promote, distribute and pay the authors and the artists (Day, 2011, p. 63). First, I will be discussing how the Internet has made an impact on the music industry.

 

According to Brian Day, record labels have the manpower to invest in artists, but only “10-20% of artists are commercially successful… and 5% of the new artists will generate a profit great enough to cover the losses of other unsuccessful artists” (Day, 2011, p. 63). So rarely do all artists become successful. In the past, artists would sign with a large record labels in order to have a chance to make it big (Garofalo, 1999, p. 342). However, nowadays with the Internet and the new technologies, artists are able to find different avenues to release their music (Day, 2011, p.63). Traditionally, record labels and the artists would enter a contract with terms discussing “profit-sharing, recoupment and upfront advances” (Day, 2011, p. 64). Nowadays, artists who have not signed with a record label have control in both the business and creative aspect of their music (Day, 2011, p. 64). The most important aspect of not signing with a record label is that the artist owns the “copyright to the music they record, along with the rights to any and all licensing royalties received therefrom” (Day, 2011, p. 64). Day questions whether we even need record labels in order to release music since many are using the advanced technologies to release it themselves and websites such as YouTube, MySpace and etc. can be a platform for artists to release their work.

 

Similar to the music industry, technologies have made a big impact on the book industry. In the past, the big publishing houses were the ones who had the resources to promote, print and distribute books (Thompson, 2012, p.111). They were the ones who called the shots in the industry (Thompson, 2012, p.111). Therefore when the Internet became an option for authors to take advantage of to release and promote their work without going through the middleman. However, even though the Internet has been a great tool, it also holds a lot of danger for the authors. The advancement of technology has created an uncontrolled space where the boundaries of copyright are undefined (11th Circuit Decision, 2014, p. 3). The advanced technology that has been a useful tool for the author can be used against them as well. Although copyright laws are strict nowadays, it is still harder to monitor online (Menand, 2014). In Louis Menand’s article, he said “according to Tru Optik, as many as 10 billion files, including movies, television shows, and games were downloaded in the second quarter of the year” (2014). Not to mention, almost “94% of these downloads were illegal” (Menand, 2011).

 

The copyright act protects the author and their work from being reproduced illegally (Menand, 2014). The copyright law started with giving the authors fourteen years of ownership and making a profit of their work (Menand, 2011). However the term changed and it is now “life plus 70 years,” which means that the authors have the rights to their work until they die plus an extra 70 years (Menand, 2011). Although, copyright is meant to protect creative work from being reproduced and distributed without the author’s consent, the digital space has made it difficult to implement this law. Due to the sheer amount of illegal downloading, authors and publishers are taking legal actions to those who are providing the technology for others to share the author’s work (Lemley & Reece, 2004, p. 3). Instead of suing the individuals who are illegal downloading, the authors are taking it out on the facilitators (Lemley & Reece, 2004, p. 106). To prevent illegal downloading the authors and the big corporations have been suing the websites that they believe are responsible for the peer-to-peer sharing (Lemley & Reece, 2004, p. 3). The websites that are being sued are the ones who make the software for people to share the files, people who “provide the tools to crack encryption,” and “search engines that help people find infringing material” (Lemley & Reese, 2004, p.3). The reason why authors are suing the facilitators instead of the individuals who committing the crime is based on economics. It is not plausible for the authors to sue a million people for downloading their work (Lemley & Reese, 2004, p. 106). By suing the facilitators, the author would likely be able to have a larger payout then if they go after the illegal downloaders (Lemley & Reese, 2004, p. 106).

 

The music and book industry have been greatly affected by the advanced technologies. It allowed authors and artists to be able to connect with their fans and audience directly and is a source of freedom in terms of being able to express themselves without the control of a large corporation. Furthermore they are able to retain the copyright of their work. Yet, because the digital realm is such a highly uncontrolled space, violation of online copyright is still a big issue today.

 

 

Works Cited

 

Lemley, M. A., & Reese, R. A. (2004). Reducing digital copyright infringement without restricting innovation. Stanford Law Review, 1345-1434.

 

Thompson, J. B. (2012). Merchants of Culture (2nd ed.). Cambridge: Polity Press

 

Day, B. (2011). In Defense of Copyright. Retrieved from http://law.shu.edu/Students/academics/journals/sports-entertainment/upload/Day-Defense-of-Copyright-3.pdf

 

Menand, L. (2014, October 5). Crooner in Rights Spat: Are copyright laws too strict. Retrieved from http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/10/20/crooner-rights-spat

 

Garofalo, R. (1999). From Music Publishing to MP3: Music and Industry in the Twentieth Century. In Vol. 17, No. 3., American Music (318-354). University of Illinois Press.

 

11th Circuit Decision. (2014, Oct 17). Nos. 12-14676 & 12-15147. Pages 46-50. Retrieved from  http://media.ca11.uscourts.gov/opinions/pub/files/201214676.pdf

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Technological Changes in Travel and Publishing

The publishing industry has undergone multiple dramatic changes in the last couple of decades. Technological changes have affected every aspect of publishing; from the writing process, to the way publishing houses are structured, to the way actual books are produced, marketed and sold. The Internet has been a large contributor to some of these changes, so much so that some are questioning the future of the book (Morrison, 2011). The changes created by new technologies are not limited to the publishing industry. In fact, most industries have in some way been impacted by the changing technological world, both in good and bad ways. One such industry has been the travel and tourism industry. Practically every aspect of traveling has adapted to a new technological environment, including the meaning of travel itself. In this paper I want to compare the changes that have occurred in the travel industry to those of the publishing industry. There are many similarities between the two, but in particular I want to focus on how technological advancements have increased the accessibility and the availability of books and travel as well as how the Internet has changed the the role of the consumer.

The 20th century has been marked by machinery that makes things easier to produce, faster to make, and more efficient to use. In the publishing world, printing presses are continuously improving so that a larger volume of books can be printed at a lower cost. The number of books in the world has dramatically increased due to new methods used for printing, such as photocomposition and offset printing, creating massive amounts of books at a price that is more accessible to readers (Tucker & Unwin & Unwin, n.d.). More currently the Internet has been able to not only decrease the costs of books themselves. All of this makes books more widely available to people who at one point were unable to afford books.

When it comes to traveling, many of the same innovative principles that led to more people traveling apply. First, there are the many varied forms of transportation now available to people. Cars are becoming faster all the time and there are high speed trains in certain parts of the world, reducing the time it takes to travel. Trains and steam powered ships were an especially important development in tourism at the end of the 19th century, enabling more comfortable travel for a longer distance (Walton, 2015). Most importantly in this case are the changes brought about by air travel. At one point it was impossible for most people to take a vacation on the other side of the world because of the heavy costs involved, both monetary and in terms of time. Only the wealthy could truly afford such journeys. However, through the use of more advanced material such as carbon fiber, airplanes have become much lighter, using less fuel and able to carry a much larger number of passengers (Seven ways technology…, 2015). Consequently, traveling around the world has become more affordable to the average person. Of course, travel prices are constantly on the rise, for both publishing and even more so for travel (McGee, 2013), but in general terms comparing to prices of a century ago, they are both more widely available and accessible due to technological developments.

The role of the aforementioned average person has also changed. This change is due in large part to the opportunities now available through the Internet. When it comes to both publishing and travel, consumers now have more autonomy and power. One of the ways this can be seen is through cell phones. Many people in North America no longer have to rely on maps and routes created by different travel corporations. Using apps like Google Maps, or Yelp, individuals can make instant decisions about where to go in a new city or what to do/eat/drink/try (McGee, 2013). Individuals have more deciding power. Similarly, in publishing, with a phone reading has become a different experience. There are more options now for how people read, what they read, and when they read. Buying books online is much easier than it used to be, which means readers are not restricted to going to a physical bookstore to procure a book.

More important is the way online websites have allowed people to become more engaged and less reliant on the industry corporations to provide what they need. By this, I mean using different social media to discuss, comment, and review both books and travel experiences. For example, Goodreads is a website that allows users to find new books based on others’ recommendations and reviews (About Goodreads, n.d.). Social media has enabled readers to become more engaged with the writing process either through following an author on social media platforms or by engaging in the writing process itself. Such was the case with Business Model Generation (http://businessmodelgeneration.com/book).

In the travel world, there are also plenty of websites – Yelp, TripAdvisor – that provide consumer generated content on everything related to travel, including accommodations, attractions, shopping, nightlife, etc. (Gretzel & Xiang, 2010). Gretzel and Xiang conducted a study that shows that people are turning more and more towards social media for answers to travel questions (2010). Trip planning happens through Google searches and travel websites. From personal experience, I know people who pick hikes based on other people’s Instagram photos. It becomes a more personalized experience with people sharing and creating that tends to somewhat ignore traditional travel marketing. Social media, in this case, creates a more collaborative environment for people to share their travel experiences with others without having to rely on the actual industry to provide all of the necessary information.

Finally the role of the consumer has changed by becoming more independent. Travelers are able to plan most of their trips online without having to go through an intermediary, such as a travel agency. There are websites, like Expedia.ca, that are dedicated to providing customers with multiple options for booking flights, hotels, car rentals, etc. (McGee, 2013). This has dramatically changed the role of the travel agency. Although travel agents are less numerous now than they have been before, they are still a large part of the travel industry (Cook, 2015). Nevertheless, travelers can book flights online without having to rely on others to do it for them. This is reminiscent of self-publishing, where the author no longer has to go to a publishing house in order to make their work available to others. Writers no longer have to depend on publishing houses becoming interested in their work, instead they rely more on themselves and use the Internet to their advantage.

Publishing and travel have, in a small way, influenced each other. As steam powered passenger trains started traveling longer distances, cheaper books were produced for people to pass the time while on board (Tucker et al., n.d.). This historical fact shows how interconnected the changes in industries can be due to technological advancements. Besides this particular influence, both the travel and the publishing industries have undergone very similar technological changes in the past century. Both industries have advanced to accommodate a large number of people through more efficient machinery. And thanks to the Internet both have had to adapt to a reader/traveler that is more engaged and self-reliant than ever before.

Reference List

About Goodreads. (n.d.). Goodreads. Retrieved from https://www.goodreads.com/about/us

Cook, M. (2015). Travel agents: We’re still flying high: A decade after ‘devastating’ change, industry survives. Arkansas Business, 32(9). Retrieved from https://global-factiva-com.proxy.lib.sfu.ca/ga/default.aspx

Gretzel, U. & Xiang, Z. (2010). Role of social media in online travel information search. Tourism Management, 31(2), 179-188. doi:10.1016/j.tourman.2009.02.016

McGee, B. (2013, April 24). 10 biggest changes in travel in the past 10 years. USA Today. Retrieved from http://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/columnist/mcgee/2013/04/24/10-biggest-changes-in-travel-in-the-past-10-years/2107309/

Morrison, E. (2011, August 22). Are books dead, and can authors survive? The Guardian. Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/books/2011/aug/22/are-books-dead-ewan-morrison

Seven ways technology is changing the travel industry. (2015, January 27). Retrieved from https://medium.com/@WTTC/seven-ways-technology-is-changing-the-travel-industry-85cff79c1ece

Tucker, D. H. & Unwin, G. & Unwin, P. S. (n.d.). History of publishing. Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved from http://academic.eb.com.proxy.lib.sfu.ca/EBchecked/topic/482597/history-of-publishing/

Walton, J. K. (2015). Tourism. Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/topic/tourism

The Evolution of Entertainment: Effects of Technology on the Publishing and Video Rental Industries

This essay will compare two industries that have undergone extensive changes through technological evolution. I will examine the manners in which the publishing industry and the video rental industry have been drastically altered by technological advancements in recent years. While both industries have undergone substantial changes, the video rental industry has been changed less comprehensively and on less levels but with more dramatic results.

Technology has affected both the publishing industry and the video rental industry by altering the form the product takes, its’ distribution, and the way the product is consumed. As a result of all of this, the perceived value of the product has gone down for both industries. To begin, I will compare the effect of technology on the form of both products. Videos have taken many forms throughout the years, beginning with VHS videocassettes, then progressing to DVDs and Blu-Ray, before becoming digital files (Tech Time Machine). The publishing industry is following a similar path with the introduction of digital eBooks. Books can now be purchased in either physical, digital, or audio form, providing readers with increasingly more options for consuming content.

Technology has also affected the distribution of the product for both industries. For the publishing industry, the introduction of Amazon and online purchasing has greatly altered the manner in which customers get books. Whereas at one point in time their only options were a brick-and-mortar bookstore or a library, they can now purchase print books through an online distributor or forego them altogether and purchase digital files. The options for obtaining videos have also changed drastically with technological advancements. Beginning in the late ‘80s it was popular to rent physical copies of VHS videocassettes or DVDs from companies such as Blockbuster; the way customers get videos today is quite different. Rather than rental agencies being the dominant distributor, online streaming and subscription services have exploded in popularity (Halal).

Finally, the way books and videos are consumed has been transformed by technology for both the publishing industry and the video rental industry. The changes that the two products have undergone are extremely similar and can be directly related to the increase in the availability of digital files. Videos are now frequently watched on laptops, tablets, or smartphones in addition to traditional television sets, and books are now read not only in print but also by using the above-mentioned devices, as well as eReaders (Zickuhr & Rainie, 2014).

While these similarities are important to note, I feel that it is most critical to highlight the effect that these changes have had on both industries and their parallels. The ultimate result of the increase of digital files has reduced the value of the product in the eyes of the consumer. With online streaming and piracy so convenient and accessible, consumers are no longer satisfied with paying the price they would have several years ago to rent video content (Liedtke, 2014; Halal). We can see a similar result in the perceived worth of books; if eBooks are being sold through online distributors at a fraction of the cost of print books, it can cause the ultimate value of the book to drop drastically in the eyes of the consumer.

The most distinct difference between the publishing industry and the video rental industry is the degree to which they were affected by these changes. I would argue that the publishing industry has been affected on more levels than the video rental industry – for example, it is clear that the way books are written and produced has evolved drastically with the evolution of technology. For instance, there is a growing relationship between author and reader, as the writing of books becomes more interactive. Some authors are choosing to allow readers to give comments and feedback as the book is written, and are putting these suggestions towards their work (Lloyd, 2008). This type of producer-consumer relationship is not as present in the video industry. The consumers remain consumers and those that do produce video do so on a separate channel – for instance YouTube or personal websites. The way in which videos are produced and content is created has not undergone as many cultural changes due to technology as those of the book.

Despite having been affected on less levels, the resulting changes seen in the video rental industry are more drastic than those seen in the publishing industry. This is evidenced clearly in the effects of changes to methods of distribution and how the products are consumed. As mentioned above, the methods consumers use to get ahold of the respective products have changed. For the video rental industry the change was astronomical, which is not the case for the publishing industry. This is clear in the decline and bankruptcy of rental agencies, along with the simultaneous rise of subscription services such as Netflix. These services have removed the need and desire for rental agencies by providing convenient accessibility to videos at a reasonable price. In the publishing industry, we have not seen this eradication of traditional distribution methods. While there are other options, many consumers will still choose to purchase print books in a bookstore (Association of American Publishers, 2015). Though subscription services are offered as a method of distribution for eBooks, they have not exploded in popularity as in the video industry. This is due in large part to the fact that they are not seen to provide the same level of value to the customer, and many are lacking in popular titles and authors (Wood, 2015).

The difference in the effects of technology on the publishing industry compared to the video rental industry is most clear when we examine the manner in which the respective products are consumed. While the publishing industry has introduced new, digital methods to consume content, these have not replaced the form that preceded them. eBooks and eReaders are a supplemental option for consumers, an alternative to a print book but not necessarily a replacement (Shatzkin, 2015). This is very distinct from the video rental industry where every new technological advancement fully replaced that which came before it. The introduction of DVDs rendered VHS cassettes obsolete and, following that development, the rise of subscription services and online streaming are now replacing DVDs. The video rental industry barely exists in any form other than subscription services (Khanna, 2013), which is certainly not the case for the publishing industry.

The publishing and video rental industries are very comparable as both underwent changes in methods of distribution, the way content is consumed, and the physical form of their products. For both industries, these changes have led to a decrease in the perceived value of their product. Where they begin to differ is when we begin to examine other effects of technological changes. The changes in methods of distribution and consumption of content appear to have affected the video rental agency in a much more absolute way than they have the publishing industry. Although the publishing industry has been altered in every aspect imaginable, the effects of these changes are not as dramatic as the changes to the video rental industry.

Works Cited

Association of American Publishers. (2015). “Monthly statshot: March 2015”. http://media.publishersmarketplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/2015_03_AAP_StatShot.pdf

Halal. “How Netflix beat Blockbuster: An exemplar of emerging technologies”. http://billhalal.com/?p=295

Khanna. (2013). “How the content industry almost killed blockbuster and netflix”.
http://techcrunch.com/2013/12/27/how-the-content-industry-almost-killed-blockbuster-and-netflix/

Liedtke. (2014). “Redbox is raising prices because people don’t rent movies anymore”. http://www.reviewjournal.com/entertainment/redbox-raising-prices-because-people-don-t-rent-movies-anymore

Lloyd. (2008). “A book publisher’s manifesto for the 21st century”. http://thedigitalist.net/blog/2008/05/manifesto-download

Shatzkin. (2015). “The publishing business as we have known it is not going away anytime soon”. http://www.idealog.com/blog/the-publishing-business-as-we-have-known-it-is-not-going-away-anytime-soon/

Tech Time Machine. “The evolution of video”. http://mashable.com/2015/01/09/ces-tech-video/#gvrqfa4Eskq4

Wood. (2014). “Aiming to be the Netflix of books”. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/07/technology/personaltech/aiming-to-be-the-netflix-of-books.html

Zickuhr & Raine. (2014). “E-Reading rises as device ownership jumps”.
http://www.pewinternet.org/2014/01/16/e-reading-rises-as-device-ownership-jumps/

 

 

Pushing The Boundaries Of The Software and Publishing Industry Through Technology.

In the summer of 2015, during a presentation done by Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook Headquarters, I remember being in disbelief by all the technological advancements that had yet to be produced and disrupt industries. The Oculus Rift, which was a virtual reality headset had a $1billion market place valuation and hasn’t even been produced was an example of disruptive piece of technology yet to reach market. The constant advancement of technology has both been beneficial for some and has changed the job market for others. In particular, the publishing industry and software industry has been challenged to adapt to technologies. Of course, the publishing industry has been around longer than the software industry with roots tracing back to news prints. However, with the introduction of the internet, personal computers and mobile devices; technology has radically shifted the production, distribution and consumption model of both industries equally.

Publishing is an established industry with its foundation rooted in the print culture evolving organically with technology overtime. Similarly, the processes of software have developed organically and utilizes the advancement of technology to its benefit. Software is defined on an open source software site called OpenProjects as a “collection of computer data and instructions”, which can be further broken down into two software systems and applications software.(OpenProjects, n.d.). For the purpose of this essay, software will be discussed at a higher level.

Production of code and content in both these industries tended to have a linear path, starting from either the software engineer or author. The intended audience had no role in the former and only a limited role in the latter(Lloyd,2008). However, with Tim Berner’s Lee invention, dubbed the internet, digital natives have morphed into “prosumers” whom Lloyd defines in A Book Publisher’s Manifesto for the 21st century as producers who are consumers that “expect a great deal more involvement in both of these areas of activity if they are to be engaged by texts.”(Lloyd,2008). An instance in publishing where prosumers engaged in the text was Chris Anderson’s, The Long Tail, which was written “‘in public’ via a blog, allowing readers to post comments and to be involved in the very act of writing the book.”(Lloyd,2008). Today, reading is a much less passive activity and it is connected with many and diverse related activities.The reintegration of producers and consumers with the support of technology is just an “extension of the decentralization”(Alstyne, n.d.). New media tools have evolved to support this trend, as consumers are ever so empowered to create their own content reversing their role as passive consumers. Examples of consumers becoming producers with new media tools include the “creators of Web sites and blogs, podcasters who create their own radio shows for other MP3 users, iMovies users who can create their own movies from raw video footage” (Alstyne, n.d.).

The software industry has adopted a collaborative method that is comparable to the publishing industry. Particularly, with the support of technology advancement, open source software has been really able to take off. This, allows multiple developers to comment and develop programs in a shared method.  According to TechTerms, Open Source means the “program’s source code is freely available to the public. Unlike commercial software, open source programs can be modified and distributed by anyone and are often developed as a community rather than by a single organization.”(Christensson,2008). Pre internet, software was written in different languages specialized for an individual network. Arpanet, which was the strategy to connect networks of computers had multiple languages that made it difficult for software engineers to collaborate with each other. However, with the internet, it was the first time that networks communicated in one language, making it interconnected between different networks (ColdFusion, 2013). Furthermore, Tim Berner’s Lee was one of the first to pioneer “open source” code as he released his project, which was the internet as “open source” itself.  For the first time, software engineers could comment and view the source code for free. Linux is the best-known and most-used open source operating system that was developed through a collaboration between software engineers. As an operating system, Linux is software that sits underneath all of the other software on a computer it “receives requests from those programs and relaying these requests to the computer’s hardware.”(OpenSource,n.d.). Collaboration between software engineers is a behaviour that is widely recognized now and is only possible with the advancement of technology. Popular tools are built to support this interaction between software engineers, such as Github, which provides an “open-source distribution of such a software library — to be used, to show how it can be done, and to enlist the help of other like-minded software engineers in advancing a world-class platform suitable for large-scale, industrial software product development.”(Fleming, 2014)

Distribution is the process of getting your product to the consumer. In particular, the publishing industry had the biggest advantage with distribution as it was the biggest hurdle to overcome for new authors. The publisher had the control and the network that allowed books to be distributed to bookstores (Lloyd,2008). Originally, without a publisher, authors were challenged in trying to reach international audiences. However, technology advancement have changed the way books have been distributed. Digital technology has no boundaries in geography and time because books can be published, marketed, bought and read anytime and anywhere(Essays, 2013). The power that came from physical distribution has disappeared as retailers or salespeople have no influence in the actual “buying and selling behaviour as they did before because traditional printing is no longer the only way to have content published”(Essays, 2013). This, has given power to authors, allowing them to be an in-house self publication. Self publishing is an industry that has evolved from the online distribution model. As defined in a blog post on Scribendi called Traditional Publishing Versus Self Publishing, self publishers are authors that take on the role as a publisher. “The author must proofread the final text and provide the funds required to publish the book, as well as the camera-ready artwork. The author is responsible for marketing and distributing the book, filling orders, and running advertising campaigns”(Sribendi,n.d.). Services such as Amazon, Blurb, and CreateSpace have been created to support the self publishing industry. Once was a publishers strongest tool is now being disrupted by technology itself.

Originally, independent engineers had software distribution limitations as well because international reach was troublesome as software was distributed physically through either CD’s, DVD’s or passing around USB drives. Larger software companies who had the resources had the power to reach audiences globally (AvantGate, n.d.). When consumers needed an update, separate physical copies would have to be mailed out. Methods today allow any software engineer to reach their audience at an international scale. Electronic Software Distribution is a solution devised by software producers that is defined in Wikipedia as a distribution model “meant to allow users to download software products over the Internet (i.e. electronically)”.(Digital Distribution, n.d.). Software products distributed electronically have the advantage of costing less than software distributed on physical media it offers buyers permanent access to software products, 24/7, regardless of time or place. (AvantGate, n.d.). This has enabled software engineers to release there products online and reach new audiences without the barrier of physical distribution.

Today, product consumption is highly more immersive and interactive with the evolution of technology. In the publishing industry, technology has enhanced the reading experience, enabling it to happen across more “disparate networks and allowed it to be recorded, aggregated and interlinked in exciting new ways.”(Lloyd,2008). Authors and publishers need to acknowledge that books are essentially a “networked book that contains the conversation it engenders and which, in turn, engenders it.”(Lloyd,2008). Devices that enable this include the Kindle and mobile devices of today, such as the IPhone. In fact, Overall, 50% of Americans now have a dedicated handheld device–either a tablet computer like an iPad, or an e-reader such as a Kindle or Nook for reading digital content.(Zickhur,2014). E-books typically have in-use features such search and cross reference function, hypertext links, bookmarks, annotations, highlights, multimedia objects and interactive tools. With physical books, you didn’t have the concept of hyperlinks. Hyperlinks allow authors to integrate contextual information form other resources by linking readers to that resource. Hyperlinks is defined as a“ digital object with textual and/or other content, which arises as a result of integrating the familiar concept of a book with features that can be provided in an electronic environment” (Carreiro, 2010, p.221). This, allows readers to discover an in-depth view about a certain reading by linking them out with hyperlinks.

On the other hand, Apps have integrated existing service’s API’s into their own apps to develop interactivity. API is an abbreviation for “application programming interface that is a set of protocols, routines and tools used for building software to integrate within their own app ecosystem”(Beal,2015). By integrating APIs make it possible for big services like Google Maps or Facebook to let other apps “piggyback” on their offerings (Proffitt,2013) .An instance where APIs support an interactive environment is when you achieve a high score in a game, you are able to “share, chat, post high scores and invite friends to play via Facebook, right there in the middle of a game”(Proffitt,2013). By “piggybacking” off of other services through both hyperlinks and APIs, it allows producers to enhance the main experience for their intended audiences.

Technology has radically shifted the publishing industry and software industry in all aspects of production, distribution and consumptions. Benefitting the actual consumers themselves who then have turned into contributors to the projects. Without the internet, there would have been a handful of individuals that would have not been able to share their creations with an international audience. However, the evolving landscape has given tools to creators and allowed for a fair competitive industry for self starters to create their first fiction book or small app without the assistance of corporations. Collaboration and sharing of knowledge has connected both publishers and developers to their intended audience. This has produced a much more complex consumer business model as the process to create code or a book has many different paths.

Alstyne, G (n.d.).The Prosumer: Consumer as content producer [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://2020mediafutures.ca/The+Prosumer%3A+Consumer+as+content+producer

AvantGate (2015). Electronic Software Distribution and e-Commerce – Where Do They Meet?[Blog Post]. Retrieved from  http://www.avangate.com/avangate-resources/article/electronic-software-distribution.html

Beal, V. (2015). API – application program interface [Blog Post]. Retrieved from http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/A/API.html

Carreiro, E. (2010). Electronic Books: How digital devices and supplementary new technologies are changing the face of the publishing industry. Publishing Research Quarterly , 26 (4), 219-235.

Christensson, P. (2008, October 30). Open Source Definition. Retrieved from http://techterms.com

ColdFusion. (2013, August 03). The Greatest Story Ever Told, Where It All Began [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A2wG0sXbMhw

Digital Distribution. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved October 04, 2015, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_distribution

Essays, UK. (November 2013). Effect Of Technology On The Publishing Industry Media Essay. Retrieved from http://www.ukessays.com/essays/media/effect-of-technology-on-the-publishing-industry-media-essay.php?cref=1

Fleming, K. (2014, November 03).  Mission Statement. Retrieved from https://github.com/bloomberg/bde/wiki/Mission-Statement

Open Projects. (n.d.).Computer Software Definition. Retrieved from http://www.openprojects.org/software-definition.htm

Open Source (n.d.). What is Linux? Retrieved from http://opensource.com/resources/what-is-linux

Proffitt , B(September,13,2013). What APIs are and Why They Are Important. Retrieved from http://readwrite.com/2013/09/19/api-defined

Sara Lloyd. 2008 A Book Publisher’s Manifesto for the 21st Century. The Digitalist (Pan MacMillan).

Scribendi.(n.d.). Traditional Publishing versus Self-Publishing. Retrieved from http://www.scribendi.com/advice/traditional_versus_self_publishing.en.html

Zickuhr, K (January,16,2014). E-Reading Rises as Device Ownership Jumps. Retrieved from http://www.pewinternet.org/2014/01/16/e-reading-rises-as-device-ownership-jumps/

Comparing Changes within the Publishing and Travel Industries

During the 1990s, massive challenges to the traditional structure of both the Publishing Industry and the Travel Industry started to emerge due to the prevalence of the Internet. Granados et. al (2008) state that the Internet “offered a low-cost distribution channel for new entrants who could make a lot of profit, as incumbent firms chose not to explore the new channels initially” (p. 76), which as will be demonstrated, both industries did not. Although both industries have not been affected directly the same, parallels will be drawn between the two, and their differences highlighted.

Both the Travel Industry and the Publishing Industry involve intermediaries, or more colloquially “middlemen”, which both traditionally took form in brick and mortar shops. In the case of the former, that would be travel agents, whereas in the latter, bookstores, and increasingly more common with the rise in eBooks, both distribution companies (warehouses, shipping, etc.) and printers. Two arguments have been made, both proving to be true in either case. With the prevalence of the Internet, it is said that it will skip intermediaries, bringing customers directly to suppliers; conversely “[i]t has also been argued that electronic markets do not become “disintermediated” but are rather facilitated by IT, with new intermediaries emerging in an electronic environment” (Lewis et. al, 1998, p. 21). We see this within both industries in different ways. In regards to the former argument, there has been a push from airlines, hotels, car rentals, etc., in offering their services online (Laverty & Media, n.d.). However, technology has allowed for competing services to traditional brick and mortar travel agencies, such as Travelocity and Expedia (Granados et. al, 2008). We see both these arguments demonstrated again within the Publishing Industry. Starting with the latter argument, there has been a decline in bookstores, most notably with the bankruptcy of Borders in 2011, which is often accredited to Amazon (Nisen, 2013). Although this has been a huge shift, with other notable ecommerce platforms usually specializing in eBooks (ex. Apple) (AppleInsider Staff, 2010), there has more recently been a push from publishers to cut out the middleman, and move towards their own ecommerce sites, most notably publishers such as Harper-Collins (Greenfield, 2014).

The digital intermediaries and the cutting out of the brick and mortar stores is only a surface similarity between the two and to best understand the change it should be asked why these industries are being replaced. One of the main similarities between the two industries is that the Internet made it easier for competitors to enter the once previous difficult markets (Granados et. al, 2008, p.74). Since the 1970s, the Travel Industry was based around Computer Reservation Systems (CRSs) which airlines would be used to “lock in travel agencies through long-term contractual agreements “(Granados et. al, 2008, p.74). This ensured the market was set up in a certain way that was expensive to enter. Online Travel Agencies joined the market and using the technology held by traditional travel agencies, they made it easier to navigate for average users. What this does is replaces the position of the travel agent with an online interface. By 2007, online bookings surpassed offline bookings (Granados et. al, 2008, p.82).

On the Publishing side, independent bookstores were threatened with the rise of the book superstore in the 1990s. This made the barrier to entry into the business increasingly more difficult for smaller stores and many shops were unable to stay in business (Cowen, 2006). Now, with the rise of ecommerce, both independent bookstores and the chain stores, as previously demonstrated with the closing of Borders, are being challenged. There are numerous reasons why people have turned to ecommerce when looking to buy books and I will use Amazon as an example for it has been frontrunner, by selling two-thirds of all online print books, which makes it the largest seller of books (Gessen, 2014). The company has the ability to offer better prices, often being accused of taking a loss in order to establish itself within the industry (Gessen, 2014). The company has numerous warehouses giving them what seems to be endless amounts of space for storage, which in turn allows them to offer a large range of books (Roberge, 2014). Another strength they possess is something shared with online travel agencies: the ability to run algorithms to suggest things to users which was once done by a sales associate, whether it’s a book to buy or different dates for different prices (Roberge, 2014; Hobica, 2011). The two also share a convenience factor; one can order a plane ticket from home and having it immediately printable, buy a book or delivered to them, or instantly downloadable as an eBook. These factors, along with the comment section and easily searchable reviews (Cowen, 2006), have replaced the sales associate and the travel agent.

It’s been shown how the loss of the brick and mortar intermediary affects the customer; however, it is necessary to compare how it affects both the publishing houses and the airlines to further analyze why these industries have changed.

Going back to the Travel Industry, one of the main factors with cutting out and changing the intermediary to an online format has been price savings for the airlines. Travel agencies have typically received most of their revenue through commissions (Lee, 2012). Airlines placed commission caps that inhibited the ability of agents to price discriminate without sacrificing these commissions (Granados et. al, 2008). These commission caps, which eventually lead to cuts (Lee, 2012) changed the industry in how they would have to change the way their business is structured to avoid bankruptcy, which will be elaborated on later. With the exception of the possible negative effects the social media can have on airlines (Carmichael, 2009), the Internet has had a positive impact. By offering tickets directly to customers, they cut out the need for middleman services both online and offline. There has even been a push to avoid customers using online services by putting penalties on customers who buy tickets through those services, such as no seat assignment till check in and half their frequent flyer miles (Mayerowitz, 2012).

In regards to the Publishing Industry, Roberge (2014) asked why a publisher would want to maintain relationships with thousands of stores when they only make up 3-5% of their sales? With this question, Roberge is referencing Amazon as it is the largest name in online bookstores. When it first appeared, it changed the industry for the better for Publishers, who were now no longer at the mercy of large chain bookstores who had the ability to buy however many copies, and have the ability to return the unsold books, which could put the Publisher at a loss (Gessen, 2014). Like the airlines, publishers were also able to save money cutting out brick and mortar stores.

This financial benefit changed when the eBook became more prevalent, much to the credit of Amazon. However, they managed to control the eBook market at the expense of the publishing houses by pricing out competitors, taking a loss in book sales, while still making profit in other areas (Gessen, 2014). This caused much turmoil for the industry and, along with the rise of the eBook, created speculation that the tradition format of the Publishing Industry was a dying one (Levin, 2012). This has created “animosity toward Amazon, which holds the majority market share of online book sales and eBook sales” (Belz, 2014), which has created a desire for bookstores to succeed.

The advent of the eBook is most similar to that of performing bookings online, rather than ordering a physical copy to be delivered, as both avoid the use of paper, brick and mortar shops, and human interaction. Although the turmoil that the Internet created for both industries affected them both in very similar ways, how both industries have adapted to the changing marketplace is quite different.

In regards to leisure travelers, it has become commonplace to plan your trip online, using it for reviews, buying tickets, and even sending out itinerary information (Vandersteen, n.d.). As been described, this has been one of the main ways the airlines have tried to cut out intermediary position, and although the battle between the airlines and online intermediaries continues, traditional brick and mortar agencies have learned to adapt, although the industry has shrunk considerably (Lee, 2012). As described by Lee (2012), many agencies focus on corporate travel, where they charge service fees. This line of work is convenient for businesses, as everything will be planned on their behalf, not having to stress over flight, rides, and hotels. Lee explains that although travel agencies no longer receive commission on flights, they still do on vacation packages and cruises, while still charging service fees on top. There has been an increased focus within the industry to provide good customer service and availability, should a problem arise.

Whereas travel agencies have seemed to find niches and new business plans, the future of the bookstore is still up in the air. Most of it depends on the future of the book itself and customers’ buying habits. Regarding the book itself, it depends on the whether physical copies will remain in demand or if eBooks are the future. Sales have shown that the buying of eBooks has slowed down (Shatzkin, 2014); however, that could just be a generational trend. If they do remain relevant, then the buying habits of consumers comes into question of whether they would rather order from an online store like Amazon, or if they would prefer to buy from stores. Some have claimed that independent bookstores will remain in business (Hawkins, 2015), some have claimed that specialty stores may have a future, but the future of chain stores is bleak (Nisen, 2013), and many others possibilities all around the spectrum.

 

Works Cited

AppleInsider Staff. (2010, January 27). Apple introduces iBooks store for iPad. Retrieved October 4, 2015, from http://appleinsider.com/articles/10/01/27/apple_introduces_ibooks_store_for_ipad

Belz, E. (2014, June 2). Are bookstores really dying out? Retrieved September 29, 2015, from http://www.worldmag.com/2014/06/are_bookstores_really_dying_out

Carmichael, S. (2009, July 29). The Internet – an airline’s best friend, and their biggest enemy. Retrieved September 29, 2015, from http://gadling.com/2009/07/29/the-internet-an-airlines-best-friend-and-their-biggest-enemy/

Cowen, T. (2006, May 15). What Are Independent Bookstores Really Good For? Retrieved September 29, 2015, from http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/culturebox/2006/05/what_are_independent_bookstores_really_good_for.html

Gessen, K. (2014, December 1). The War of the Words. Retrieved September 29, 2015, from http://www.vanityfair.com/news/business/2014/12/amazon-hachette-ebook-publishing

Granados, N., Kauffman, R., & King, B. (2008). How Has Electronic Travel Distribution Been Transformed? A Test of the Theory of Newly Vulnerable Markets. Journal of Management Information Systems, 25(2), 73-95.

Greenfield, J. (2014, July 8). HarperCollins Pivots to Sell Print and Ebooks Directly to Readers Through Main Website. Retrieved September 29, 2015, from http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2014/harpercollins-pivots-to-sell-print-and-ebooks-directly-to-readers-through-main-website/

Hawkins, J. (2015, June 19). Bookstores Won’t Go the Way of Video Stores. Retrieved September 29, 2015, from http://electricliterature.com/bookstores-wont-go-the-way-of-video-stores/

Hobica, G. (2011, January 2). Six reasons why we need online travel agencies. Retrieved October 5, 2015, from http://www.airfarewatchdog.com/blog/6530176/six-reasons-why-we-need-online-travel-agencies/

Laverty, S., & Media, D. (n.d.). Impact of Technology on the Travel Agency Business. Retrieved September 29, 2015, from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/impact-technology-travel-agency-business-57750.html

Lee, S. (2012, July 23). How Do Travel Agents Make Money? Retrieved September 29, 2015, from http://hostagencyreviews.com/how-do-travel-agents-make-money/

Levin, M. (2012, June 29). The Incredible Resilience of Publishing Fantasy. Retrieved October 4, 2015, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michaellevin/publishing-fiction_b_1637384.html

Lewis, I., Semeijn, J., & Talalayevsky, A. (1998). The Impact of Information Technology on Travel Agents. Transportation Journal, 37(4), 20-25.

Mayerowitz, S. (2012, December 9). Airlines Offer Cheaper Airfare Directly To Customers, Penalizing Online Travel Agencies. Retrieved September 29, 2015, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/12/cheap-airfare-airlines_n_1876588.html

Nisen, M. (2013, October 15). These Charts Show Just How Bad Things Are For Bookstores. Retrieved September 29, 2015, from http://www.businessinsider.com/why-bookstores-are-doomed-2013-10

Roberge, T. (2014, August 18). Why We Need Independent Bookstores More Than Ever. Retrieved September 29, 2015, from http://publishingperspectives.com/2014/08/why-we-need-independent-bookstores-more-than-ever/

Shatzkin, M. (2014, January 23). The future of bookstores is the key to understanding the future of publishing. Retrieved September 29, 2015, from http://www.idealog.com/blog/future-bookstores-key-understanding-future-publishing/

Vandersteen, J. (n.d.). How Has the Internet Changed the Airline Industry? Retrieved September 29, 2015, from http://science.opposingviews.com/internet-changed-airline-industry-1742.html

Competitive & Innovative: The Porn & Publishing Industry

The introduction of technology has brought forth a change in business model for the porn and publishing industry. A business model that is unpredictable, never stagnant and always uncertain. Since technology is continuously developing, so too is pornography and publishing. What results is steep competition and incredible innovation as porn producers and traditional publishers find different avenues to entice their consumers while still making a profit.

From centuries ago to present day, technology has helped pornography flourish. With the rise of the printing press in Europe, erotic books such as The Sixteen Pleasures in 1527 gained popularity, increasing the general demand for printing. During World War I and II, soldiers’ desires for erotic photography and pulp novels drove both formats, helping lead to the widespread adoption of the paperback book. Telecommunication technologies in the late 1900s were abundant with pornography uses, from telephone to cable television to early computers (Pappas, 2010). When home videos developed, Video Home System (VHS) reigned (beating Betamax in the videotape format war) and was adopted by the porn industry. This eventually led to DVDs and their formats: HD DVD and Blu-ray. Currently, businesses in the porn industry “were among the first firms to use streaming video, e-commerce models, online security and digital rights management as they are employed today by mainstream companies” (Arellano, 2011). What ever new media technology there is, the porn industry is the testing ground for its success or failure. I truly believe that the porn industry is the entrepreneur of the internet because of the various services and applications that have come out of ‘testing’ and into mainstream business models to great success. Digital video streaming is currently the primary medium of porn distribution however, webcam pornography and virtual reality may be the ‘next big thing’ as businesses in the industry, large and small are experimenting. “The future is definitely bright for the industry…I believe adult entertainment can lead things as it has in the past” says Alec Helmy, president and publisher of XBIZ.com (Abram, 2015).

Helmy also says that the number of porn studios in the United States have decreased from over 200 to 20. Actors who used to make $1,500 an hour now get $500. Before the “tube” sites took off, worldwide industry revenues estimated at $40 billion to $50 billion (Abram, 2015). Moreover, data from FilmL.A.Inc., the nonprofit group that handles film permits for the city of Los Angeles, shows that the number of permits in 2014 issued for X-rated productions decreased to 20 in comparison to 480 in 2012 (Verrier, 2014). This dramatic decrease goes hand in hand with the dramatic increase in views of free internet porn on the “tube” sites and subscription sites. When the internet makes pornography extremely easy to copy and share without official authorisation, why would you want to pay for something that is essentially, the same thing? In contrast, traditional books are still the primary medium for distribution, with the online world only taking a small percentage of sales. This small percentage however, is steadily increasing while traditional book sales are steadily decreasing.

The ultimate result of technology on the publishing industry is publishers must create a new business model specifically for the online world. Publishers currently still utilise their traditional business model for printed material, just less so because of the rise of ebooks and self-publishing. The prevalence of online “do-it-yourself” tools and applications such as CreateSpace and BookSurge allows users to create a brand around themselves and successfully publish online and printed books without the help of a traditional publisher who often administered this task (Bingham, 2015). One such author is Scott Nicholson, who has published over 70 books and sells them online through Amazon for the Kindle and other ereaders. “He handles the entire process himself” (Graham, 2012) and the lucrative 70% royalties on ebook sales attracts Nicholson and other authors more than the traditional publisher’s offer of 25% (Bingham, 2015). With that said, Amy-Mae Elliott says that “with the advent of e-books, social reading sites and simple digital self-publishing software and platforms, all that has changed. An increasing proportion of authors now actively choose to self-publish their work, giving them better control over their books’ rights, marketing, distribution and pricing” (Elliot, 2014). Moreover, editors and designers, are creating start-up businesses such as Gimp, Lightning Source and Wattpad catered towards content strategies for publishers and authors. These self-publishing tools, applications and businesses directed specifically for users to publish their own book diminishes the value of the traditional publisher as gatekeeper, annihilating them completely.

While technology has created new opportunities for the porn industry, it has simultaneously shaken its previous business model and stiffened competition. David Rosen from Salon Media Group identifies five factors contributing to the porn industry’s change in business model due to technology: (i) content piracy in the form of peer-to-peer file-sharing and user-generated content platforms; (ii) do-it-yourself (DIY) amateur porn videos; (iii) free porn sites known as “tube” sites, allowing any registered user to upload a video. The user is not held liable for copyright infringement so long as he or she complies with takedown notices from copyright owners; (iv) the resulting change in business economics; and (v) the ongoing recession with cuts discretionary spending (Rosen, 2013). These five factors have made the porn industry undergo a significant restructure of their business model, leading to the closure of many porn companies or downsizing and reduced pay for industry workers. Just like the publishing industry, the porn industry is trying to find its path to success and balance – embracing technology to ultimately satisfy its consumers while still keeping the industry profitable.

This is where porn producers must be innovative and grab their consumers’ attention long enough to peak their interest. Since “tube” sites are free, consumers are now less inclined to pay to watch pornography so competition in the marketplace understandably increases. High competition means more content, ultimately giving consumers a large and eclectic range to choose from. Numerous web hosting companies will not host porn-related content so those in pornography must work harder to get their projects in motion. Reputable institutions such as banks refuse to fund pornographic projects, no matter how promising and profitable said project may be. Moreover, crowdfunding websites such as GoFundMe.com also refuse to publish porn-related campaigns – and if they do, they must meet a long list of guidelines. Because of this censorship, websites like CumFundMe.com have been created but do not receive as much attention (Rosen, 2013). I admire porn marketers because they have managed to make porn a phenomenon despite so many teams rioting against the work.

Traditional publishers, who already face competition from retail giants such as Amazon, must now also consider their competitive edge against the consumer. Not only can we see this through self-publishing platforms but also social computing applications such as the google chrome extension, Hypothesis. In this form of reading, the reader assumes the role of annotator, and thereby contributes to the work of the original author. In this sense, authorship is not overtly important, but the overall collaboration of the project is instead. Users of Hypothesis can add a tag to their annotations so they are easily searchable by other Hypothesis users. What emerges is a shared network and the development of a community from which both authors and users are able to grow an audience base and communicate upon.

Technology has also halted in-house marketing teams in porn production companies. The marketing teams responsible for promoting their stars have vanished for the most part in the porn industry. This means that marketing is now in the star’s hands, who must effectively self-promote. Whether it is via their website, blog, or social media accounts, these stars must self advertise to stay relevant and keep their fans and the wider community updated with their work projects (Verrier, 2014). Increasingly, we also see authors promoting their book(s) via social media. Actress and singer Lea Michele for example, released a book titled, You First last month. Prior to the release, she had been consistently posting images on her Instagram account of the themes of each chapter in and encouraging her fans to put #youfirst. Michele started her promotional campaign in June 2015 for a September 22, 2015 release. This gave her fans enough time to stay interested in You First while not getting bored. Although the fact that Michele is a celebrity is probably why she has such a big platform and influence, having the opportunity to do book signings and special appearances to promote her book. However, marketing for books are still heavily done the traditional way – via newspaper reviews and press releases.

What is clear is that the digital market is becoming the choice for consumers. Both porn producers and traditional publishers must compete in the same marketplace alongside people with little to no experience in their field of expertise and are able to attract and maintain an audience with free tools and platforms on the web. How traditional publishers or porn producers will fare in the future is uncertain but what they can do to offset the loss in offline sales is to find ways to take advantage of the online environment. One of the benefits of online stores is that there is no inventory cost so publishers and porn producers can make more of a profit selling backlist titles without worrying about stores returning their books or videos. Though they still have to keep their stock in warehouses or storage rooms, the amount published and stored is likely to decrease because online orders can give a better sense of how many copies are desired by customers. Traditional publishers and porn producers need to embrace non-traditional marketing methods and engage with their customers online in order to take full advantage of the digital market. Though they will have to contend with Amazon’s reign over book sales and the experimentation of up and coming technologies like virtual reality, workers can at least ensure that there is a place for their products in the digital world.

I believe that bookstores or video porn shops will not completely disappear. As long as readers and viewers continue to exist, so too will the demand for books and videos, in either print or digital. The traditional bookselling and pornography venues however, will diminish in capacity and the transition to a primarily digital market will change how books and pornography are produced and marketed. If publishers and porn producers can develop effective strategies to make use of the online world, the publishing and porn industry will continue. However, it will evolve into something that is no longer associated with what we now consider publishing and pornography.

Technology has innovated the way we read and watch videos. Watching and downloading videos online has never been so easy as the user is in control of what he or she watches instead of the user planning around a television schedule. Technology has publicised its users in likes, comments and shares, made documents and videos searchable and shareable, and brought forth debates on the changing state of reading and our relationship with text and videos. Two industries that have been greatly affected by technology is the porn and publishing industry. From how pornography or a book is created, manufactured, what forms they take, and the means by which they are distributed, discovered, and read or watched, technology has disrupted their previous business models as both industries face significant restructuring. The porn and publishing industry must now adapt to the changing technological times and rework their business models to stay relevant and up to date.

Reference List

Abram, S. (2015, January, 12). Porn industry still at home in San Fernando Valley despite condom laws, Web, piracy. Los Angeles Daily News. Retrieved from http://www.dailynews.com/social-affairs/20150112/porn-industry-still-at-home-in-san-fernando-valley-despite-condom-laws-web-piracy

Arellano, N. (2011, May 30). Adult content sites battle piracy, innovate porn. itbusiness.ca. Retrieved from http://www.itbusiness.ca/news/adult-content-sites-battle-piracy-innovate-porn/16330

Bingham, H. (2015, February 05). Why Authors Walk Away From Good, Big 5 Publishers. Jane Friedman. Retrieved from https://janefriedman.com/walk-away-good-big-5-publishers/

Elliot, A.M. (2014, February 09). People-Powered Publishing Is Changing All the Rules. Mashable. Retrieved from http://mashable.com/2014/02/09/self-publishing-digital/#92UyoAfW1sqY

Graham, J. (2012, February 15). New tools make self-publishing e-books easier. USA Today. Retrieved from http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/tech/columnist/talkingtech/story/2012-02-14/ebook-self-publishing/53097762/1

Pappas, S. (2010, October 11). The History of Pornography No More Prudish Than the Present. Live Science. Retrieved from http://www.livescience.com/8748-history-pornography-prudish-present.html

Rosen. D. (2013, May 30). Is the Internet killing the porn industry?. Salon. Retrieved from http://www.salon.com/2013/05/30/is_success_killing_the_porn_industry_partner/

Verrier, R. (2014, August 06). On Location Porn production plummets in Los Angeles. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved from http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-et-ct-onlocation-la-porn-industry-20140806-story.html

How Technology has Shifted the Fashion and Publishing Industry

New technologies have been morphing the creative industries. The publishing industry has gained new tools and faced new players due to advances in technology. The fashion industry has similarly faced new challenges. These industries share some common woes such as the decline of physical stores and the increase in online shopping. Technology has created power shifts in both industries from creators to consumers and vice versa. The Publishing and fashion industry are adapting to the new technologies. With all the new software and hardware, technology looks like it is driving both industries to its roots.

Technology has changed the way the creators of both industries work. Fashion designers are sharing their designs on social media. Brands such as Saks Fifth Avenue are using the data gathered by social media to help with their inventory. Cowen (2012) shares in The Guardian how “Carla Dunham of Saks Fifth Avenue talked about how social media is helping to shape their retail lines. For instance, they might post a new designer shoe to their Facebook Page and, based on the response, they would know whether to boost stock levels in preparation”. Social media is becoming a tool that the fashion industry is embracing more than the publishing industry. From New York to Milan to London annual fashion weeks were events that were highly exclusive. With the rise of new platforms like Twitter and Instagram these elite events are now being opened to the masses. Brands are even experimenting with ‘one click’ buy buttons for pieces that are coming down the catwalk. There are several new companies that have started up due to the synergy of technology and fashion. Decoded Fashion is a company that host events that bring together top fashion industry experts and technology experts. Following the styles of fashion week, Decoded occurs yearly in different fashion hubs around the world. Their London 2015 Summit highlighted how the potential for personalization for brands is growing progressively. The more recent Tokyo Summit explored consumer-creator evolution and fan content.

Writers can now interact with their audiences via social media programs such as Facebook and Twitter. Authors can also gain feedback about ongoing work. The definition of an author is also being blurred by new technology and self published works are on the rise. Fanfiction sites such as Fan Fiction or WattPad allows anyone to put their own spin on popular titles. The concept of fan fiction and self-publishing is not new but has accelerated with the growth and spread of the Internet.

The creation of self-publishing could pose a threat to large publishing houses, but this has not been the case. Big publishers are using the websites as channels to find authors and new titles. These authors already have a fan base and so the marketing and promotion budget can be low. The fashion industry may not go scouting for new designers online but designers can gather inspiration on the Internet.

Sharing and connecting worldwide is not just a click away. Both industries have been subjected to piracy and copyright infringement before but each industry has different views and methods. The fashion industry is a more open industry and some view the copying as challenges to create something brand new. Johanna Blakley explains in her talk 2010 TedxUSC talk how fashion does not worry about copyright and piracy as much as other creative industries such as music and film. A key point that she makes is that counterfeit and knock off designs will not affect brands, because they are not the market that buys pricey luxury goods.

Fast fashion has emerged from the trend of ‘copying’ and ‘borrowing’ designs. These retailers such as Zara and H&M take runway fashion and make it cheaper and more affordable by outsourcing the manufacturing and other technologies to create product when there is demand. This type of fashion is growing exponentially. New technologies are allowing this part of the fashion industry to thrive.

The publishing industry has not welcomed the ease of sharing with open arms. Copyright and plagiarism has been a battle that publishers have been fighting for decades. However with new technologies of e-book and digital files it is easier to copy and distribute works. Thompson (2012) explains how publishers have three ways to protect themselves: security, policing and proactive supplying to the market. Security involves the use of DRM (Digital Rights Management) for electronic works. Policing is a bit harder to achieve due to the prolific websites, blogs and forums. Thompson (2012) also notes how publishers have to be flexible with formats. He states “nothing would do more to stimulate illegal trade in electronic files than an inability…[to adapt] to genuine demand for content on reading devices” (pg. 367).

The changes to copyright and piracy are handled by each industry differently. The fashion and publishing industry do have a common battle with new technological advances. Both industries have seen a decline in their brick and mortar stores and an increase in their zeros and ones binary walls. Now exclusively online retailers such as ASOS (As Seen On Screen) from the UK are entering the retail market. Companies have no choice but to have physical stores and online stores because online shopping is on the rise. E-commence is booming and new players are emerging in the retail landscape. Clothing manufactures can directly sells goods to customers and so can publishers (Thompson, 2012). There is no need for intermediaries such as stores when a web programmer can build a store online, which cost little to nothing compared to a physical store.

Niemer (2013) writes in Reshaping Retail: Why Technology is Transforming the Industry and How to Win in the New Consumer Driven World how manufacturers are not the only new contenders. Logistics companies such as Fed Ex are aggregating items and selling them, magazines have more editorial commerce on their pages and consumers are selling to each other via sites like Ebay (Niermer & Zocchi, 2013).

The publishing industry has gone through the same tribulations as the fashion industry. One retailer that is a key e-commerce player in both industries is Amazon. Amazon started as a bookseller but has spread to a broader base of consumer goods. Amazon aim is to get consumers to buy off their website which means undercutting other websites and stores. In the publishing industry Amazon is selling books and e-books with large discounts even losing revenue with each book purchase. Thompson (2012) explains how Amazon and other large online companies, “[used] book content as a lever to drive the sales of its hardware” (pg. 369). This is referring to how e-books were sold by Amazon for only $9.99 with the purchase of a Kindle. This pricing model has publishers worried because it devalues the price of the book. In the fashion and retail industry Amazon is creating competition and lowering prices through their Price Checker App. This application scans barcodes of products and shows if the consumer can buy it at a reduced price online (Niermer & Zocchi, 2013). Amazon and other companies now control the bargaining reins when it comes to deals with publishers and manufacturers. If brands and publishers want their products on Amazon’s virtual shelves they have to follow amazon’s style and rules.

A technological advance that the fashion industry has capitalized on is information. Niermer & Zocchi, (2013) defines big data as “data for which the scale, distribution, diversity, and/or timeliness of delivery require the use of new technical architectures and analytics to enable insights that unlock new sources of value” (pg. 69). Retailers are gathering more information on their customers to advertise and sell them products that have been tailored to their likes and needs. Gross (2013) explains how retailers must adapt an ‘omnichannel strategy’ that complies data from physical stores, online websites, mobile devices to create a custom shopping experience to customers. Stores can track spending habits and what particular items are being purchased. Duhigg (2012) wrote an expose about how companies are learning our secrets. Marketing departments are hiring analytics and data specialists to compile and find patterns in customer data. Customer data is collected through loyalty point cards, credit cards, phone applications that give coupons and even postal codes that some retailers ask for during checkout. Duhigg (2012) writes about how Target created a pregnancy prediction model that would calculate if a woman was pregnant by the goods that she purchased in store. This model is not directly a part of the fashion industry but similar models can be created. We now have applications and tools that tell us what to buy at a lower price (Amazon Price Checker) and can find out almost instantly where an article of clothing is from. Whether it is on a television show or a movie or just the girl or guy sitting next to you on public transit.

The publishing industry does not collect data like the fashion and retail industry. It may collect data about what types of book a person purchases and recommends similar titles. It does not use big data the way the fashion industry uses it to personalize and customize emails and flyers for its customers. Consumers may be buying clothes but the real money maker is the information that the brand or retailer collects.

Technology has changed different aspects of the fashion and publishing industry. All of these changes could be leading both industries back to their roots. Brands and publisher may start to create custom and unique pieces that are only sold in boutique shops or small book stores. However, these items and stores will be a novelty. In the future we might all just buy everything on Amazon. Each consumer will have a custom Amazon page with all the items they need or Amazon thinks they need and want. Both the publishing and fashion industry will not die out with the advances of this new technology. They will adapt and grow.

 

Work Cited

Blakley, J. (2012, April 1). Lessons from fashion’s free culture. Retrieved October 1, 2015.

Bridle, J. (2014, November 7). Digital Rights Management: Its not as if wanting to read books is a crime. Retrieved October 3, 2015.

Cowen, K. (2012, May 16). Changing the Face of Retail: Where fashion meets technology. Retrieved October 2, 2015.

Duhigg, C. (2012, February 18). How Companies Learn Your Secrets. Retrieved October 3, 2015.

Gross, N. (2013, September 17). Managing the Technology of Fashion. Retrieved September 30, 2015.

How Technology Is Disrupting the Fashion Industry. (2015, September 12). Retrieved October 4, 2015.

Niemeier, S., & Zocchi, A. (2013). Reshaping retail: Why technology is transforming the industry and how to win in the new consumer driven world.

Thompson, J. (2012). Merchants of culture: The publishing business in the twenty-first century (Second ed.). New York, New York: Plume.

Technology in Archaeology and Publishing: What’s Time Got to Do with It Anyway?

It may seem strange to compare an industry so focused on predicting its own future with one that is dedicated to the past, and without a doubt it is strange, but the worlds of publishing and archaeology do have one important thing in common: they have both been greatly affected by advances in technology. What interests me most is not the creations and discoveries that have come from these advancements (which, don’t get me wrong, are fascinating in and of themselves as well), but the reactions people, involved both directly and indirectly, have had towards the output of these technological advancements. To push that one step further, I’m interested in the controversies that have or haven’t occurred: why do the technologies in one world invoke controversy while those in the other do not? In the publishing world, technologies such as e-readers (and the companies that come with them) have brought up concerns with those involved in publishing, mostly about what the future of the book will look like. On the complete other side of the scale is the field of archaeology, where new gadgets and methods are getting people excited for what they will be able to discover next. While some technologies invoke controversy and others do not, there can be no denying the affects they have been having on these two completely different worlds.

First, it is important to take a look at what some of these technologies are and what they are doing for archaeology and publishing.

In archaeology there have been so many things made possible from advances in technology that dates all the way back to the 1960s. While not everything began with archaeology in mind, technologies from a range of other industries have been introduced to the archaeologist to aide them in their discoveries of the past, such as the use of MRI machines to scan bodies for useful data without risking the loss of their intact preservation.

A major revolution in the discovery and survey of archaeological sites long thought to be lost is the use of satellite imagery. Archaeologists today can use satellite images to survey sites invisible to the naked eye. Even just by using Google Earth, sites have been discovered, and when archaeologists gain access to satellite images they can manipulate for their purposes (3D rendering of sites for example) there is no end to what they can make of what lies beneath the ground. One of the best consequences that has come from methods such as these is when using satellite imagery to view sites, archaeologists don’t need to go there themselves or dig up everything they find, which saves a lot of time, money, manpower, and most importantly allows the site to remain preserved for future research. The development and improvement of satellite imagery is just one of the many technological advances that have immensely improved archaeological methods. For a field aiming to better understand the human past, this has been nothing but great news.

The technologies of the publishing industry tell a slightly different story however.
I think it is safe to assume that the development of e-readers has been the defining technology for the publishing industry as of late. With it, e-readers bring to publishing a mixed sense of trepidation and excitement concerning the future of the book and those whose jobs revolve around the book, from writers to publishers to bookstores and their counterparts, all the way to consumers. E-readers allow books to be read digitally, which begs the question, will there still be a need, or even desire, for physical books in the future? There are those who say yes, e-books are better and those who say no (I personally would like to think that print books will never be completely erased from our lives and that it would be a very sad day indeed were that to happen). There have been vast improvements made to the technology behind e-readers, such as e-ink technology which, among other things, allows greater readability of e-readers, making reading on a screen practically no different from reading off of paper (discounting some of the arguments made by those not in favour of e-books).

When first introduced, there was a flare up in the publishing world that e-readers and e-books were going to change everything, and not everyone seemed excited about this change. Conflicts with Amazon continued the controversy over e-books. No doubt things have started calming down now but there is still a nagging concern surrounding the implications of e-books/e-readers and their evolving technology. I think the main concern revolves around the problem over pricing. Especially in their beginning, e-books were priced much lower than the average print book. Publishers were worried they wouldn’t be able to make a profit off of e-books. Cheap e-books could potentially cause problems for print books as well: why would someone buy the more expensive print book when they could buy a cheaper digital version? The value of the book has been put at risk. People would come to think of books as only being worth what the e-book cost, and would then start expecting print book costs to reflect that value. Publishers would not only be losing money off e-books, but potentially print books as well if they are unsuccessful at resolving the value issue that e-books have introduced. From this glance it would seem that, unlike archaeology, certain technological advances may be devastating to the publishing industry as it stands today.

Does this mean that publishing will cease to exist? This seems doubtful to me. No doubt it will change, but with time we may find that things will tend to balance each other out. How come then, do two industries advancing as much as they are with regards to technology react in such different ways? Should we be taking technology as a threat or should we look to it with excitement for the changes it will bring? The most important thing to note in regards to any technological controversy or lack thereof is that publishing and archaeology are not from the same worlds. When it comes down to it, publishing is a business that needs to make money. Archaeology simply does not work this way; it is not profit-centered, but knowledge-centered. This largely affects the way publishing and archaeology react to new technologies. I’ll touch more on this later, but it is important to keep it in mind when considering the diverse reactions of publishing and archaeology.

One possibility for the polar reactions towards the technological advances archaeology and publishing are seeing today is the concept of time. I mentioned above that some of the technologies in frequent use today for archaeology have been around since the 1960s, or even earlier in some cases. Satellite imagery comes from the concept of aerial photography. Starting back in the 1850s onwards, photographs were taken from above using hot air balloons and even kites. After the 1940s, aerial photography became a more popular method of survey for archaeologists, and they have been using it ever since in one form or another. The technology has evolved – images have gotten clearer, you can focus on one thing in particular, such as land disturbances – but the basic concept has remained the same. Aerial, or satellite, imagery is used for finding and/or surveying sites.
This is an example of a technological advance that has been in use for a long time. It has had plenty of time to evolve, grow better, and become fine-tuned. Because it has been in use in archaeology for such a long time, it has become a widely accepted approach. The technology and concept behind e-readers are much fresher to publishing. The controversy that has surrounded them could be because those feeling wary haven’t had enough time to adapt to the idea of publishing moving towards the digital like those in archaeology have. It could also be that the evolution of the e-reader has occurred rather quickly in relatively few years; aerial imagery took much longer to evolve into what it is today. The popularity wave of e-readers/e-books happened fast and almost all at once; it was a lot to be toppled over with in such a short amount of time. Publishers were not given a lot of time to adjust, and this could be a reason for the uncertainty. They weren’t ready for it to take off because they didn’t expect it to.

Even if it is the case that archaeology has had the time to adjust that publishing has not, why wasn’t there any initial scare when new technologies were introduced way back when like there was in publishing? I would argue for the replacement issue being the main cause behind publishers’ paranoia. E-reader technology has the potential to completely take over print books. E-books and print books are the same thing; it is their form which differs. Some will prefer one while some will prefer the other (and then there will always be the inbetweeners). The main concern of publishers when e-books started taking off was that those who prefer e-books would eventually outnumber those who prefer print books. This is a problem because of the pricing issue I touched on above. Even when publishers are successful in raising the price of e-books, they find it doesn’t help them as people are less likely to buy them. The price conundrum continues to this day.

While it doesn’t seem to be the case lately, as e-books sales have actually started to level off and decline even, the potential is there for e-books to take over print books because they are the same thing. The difference in archaeology is that technologies often combine with the old ways of doing things to improve methods rather than replace each other completely. A new method of dating an artifact may come about, but this only helps to come up with a more definite date for artifacts when combined with other absolute dating methods, such as the case with radiocarbon dating and tree-ring dating being used together to calibrate dates. The methods can’t replace one another because each has valuable information to give in regards to dating. E-books and print books are usually more or less giving the same information; it is preference which depicts what is used, not science. The emotional aspects of publishing are a far cry from the science that drives archaeology.

As I mentioned above, the most important difference between archaeology and publishing, and so for the technologies introduced to them, is that one is a field of study while the other is an industry centered on profit. Creativity may be what drives publishing, but being able to profit off of that creativity is what keeps publishing alive. This is not the case in archaeology; it is not trying to make a profit off of what it discovers (at least it shouldn’t be). Nobody’s livelihood is going to be destroyed by the onset of a new technology because archaeology is not an industry of selling the way publishing is. If e-books ever do take over print books completely (and the price conundrum has not been resolved), publishers may be at risk of going out of business, which would indeed change the publishing world as we know it today. Archaeologists aren’t as tied down to technologies as publishers are; a technological advancement, such as additional absolute dating methods, can only be of use to them, benefitting archaeology as a whole.

Both archaeology and publishing are defined by, even controlled by, advances made in the technologies used in them. While they are on equal terms of the extent they have been affected, the reactions to those effects have been what set these worlds apart. The technologies of publishing may in practice be no more devastating than those of archaeology, but while archaeologists have seen only benefits from new technologies, the publishing industry saw the technology getting away from them and this brought mixed feelings. Publishing comes with a price, and so any technology introduced in this area puts that price at risk. The initial reactions to e-readers and e-books showed this, and the pricing issue is still being sorted out to this day. Already though we are seeing that, just as in archaeology, timing is the key. Archaeology had years worth of time to adjust to their technologies, and even publishing has begun to balance itself out in time.

 

Works Cited
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Angier, Michael. “Top Ten Reasons Why eBooks are Better Than Printed Books.” SuccessNet, n.d. Web. 3 Oct. 2015.

Auletta, Ken. “Publish or Perish.” Annals of Communications. The New Yorker, 26 April. 2010. Web. 28 Sept. 2015.

“A Brief History of Aerial Photography.” Aviation and Aerial Photography. Northstar Imaging, n.d. Web. 30 Sept. 2015.

Chivers, Brian. “Modern Revolutions in Archaeology.” Great Discoveries in Archaeology. N.p., 28 Feb. 2013. Web. 28 Sept. 2015.

“The Evolution of the e-Readers.” Musing about Books-on-Demand. UdiBoD, n.d. Web. 30 Sept. 2015.

Ferro, Shaunacy. “5 Reasons Physical Books Might Be Better Than E-Books.” Mental_floss, 2 Oct. 2015. Web. 3 Oct. 2015.

Gessen, Keith. “The War of the Words.” VF News. Vanity Fair, Dec. 2014. Web. 28 Sept. 2015.

“Ink Technology – Electrophoretic Ink, explained.” E Ink. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Sept. 2015.

Johnston, Grahame. “How Aerial Photography Helps In Archaeology.” Archaeology Expert. Archaeology Expert, 25 Sept. 2014. Web. 30 Sept. 2015.

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The Impacts of Technologies on Publishing and Education Sectors

The Impacts of Technologies on Publishing and Education Sectors
Course: Publishing 401
Student Name: Jim (Junyao) Huang
Student Number: 301144358
Instructor: Juan Alperin

Publishing industry comprises of magazine, book and newspaper industries. Products from the publishing industry have had a great influence on the cultural and socio-political environment; an example is the education system. Technology advancement in digitization has led to increasing in popularity of e-books and various online resources. It has led to high levels of competition, which affects consumer spending. It is believed that digitization in online newspapers and e- books has led to dying of the industry. On the contrary, it has opened up new opportunities (Greco, 2005). The aim of this paper is to find the points of both convergence and divergence on the use of technology in the publishing industry and education sector.

With digital technologies, there exist virtually no boundaries of time or geography. Magazines, books, and newspapers can now be published anytime and anywhere. Digital technology provides a platform for marketing in which digitization of books in websites has made it easier for students to access information with no limits. It has reduced the burden of carrying hefty books from one location to another. The Internet has led to saving of time for other activities since physical distribution has disappeared. The distribution now exists in forms of electronic copies. Distribution of the copies on the Internet is done freely and therefore costs are cut for producing additional books and journals (Ronte, 2000). Saving of costs leads to economic growth. However, fixed costs tend to increase because digital publishing requires investments in the installation of networks. According to Ronte, digital distribution is fast compared to physical distribution and its exclusive access attracts more consumers.

In the education sector, the Internet has facilitated a platform in which educational materials can be shared from one person to another. This development has led to increasing in popularity of distance learning. It has been made flexible to study while doing other tasks like working since attending school is no longer mandatory. There are new platforms where teachers and students can connect within the network (De, 2003). However, a clear assessment of students undertaking online learning is not yet figured out. In the current generation, most students are computer literate and hence are exposed to unique online resources, which increase their knowledge. They can also access the Internet from their mobile phones and tablets. The Internet and mobile technologies have provided a platform for advertising. School admissions and job opportunities are now made available online. Advertising of job opportunities helps students know the available job openings in the market and what is required of them to acquire the jobs. Students can also know the openings for admission in various schools from a wide variety. It offers opportunities for students to enroll in schools in other continents because they can apply via the Internet or use the option of distance learning. This is an indication of enhanced diversification.

The Internet and digital technologies have eased off if not solved the problem of oversupply in the publishing industry. Currently, there are close to 72 million active websites with 5% of the websites being blogged (McGuire, 2015). Links have been introduced to solve the problem. Links create currency for writers and readers to surface and access wonderful stuff. Google has built a reputation exchange in that, the more the links one has, the more the importance of Google search. The more weighted links confer their importance to others. It created an ecosystem for writers and readers to a point blogs are the fact of life and are created in various ways to make them attractive. Strictly speaking, Google does not make money from the free content they offer. In fact, profits are generated from selling advertising space on their screens. Customers’ profiles are being sold to advertisers (Morrison, 2011).

An opportunity created by technology is the invention of e- books, which has been growing rapidly. An advantage of e- books is that a publisher can never be out of print and the supply chain in the industry is shorter and faster (Carreiro, 2010). It results to lower costs, which result in higher profits for authors and publishers. Readers also access the books at lower prices. In the past, hardcopy books were commonly used in the education sector, for learning and teaching. The invention of e-books has led to the development of education sector in the cost of purchasing books has been minimized. Teachers can now teach via information on the Internet and students can access the information. Digitalization, however, goes in hand with piracy. E-books face a risk of being copied and being spread illegally on the Internet, but this is solved by both compression and encryption. According to Carreiro, the digital object identifier is an initiative of the publishing community for the protection of its assets in the digital world (Carreiro, 2010). Other than technology, the increasing demand of e-books is caused by user friendliness, privacy, and cost. Some readers find the change interesting.

Another change in the publishing industry due to technology is the introduction of online newspapers. Globally, all countries are now producing a traditionally printed newspaper and online newspaper. Digitization of newspapers has created a platform where students, philosophers, and even business people can now access news from all over the world. Current trends and emerging issues in different countries are conveyed in the newspapers hence greater knowledge to all those researching for information. Availability of the information from the media has helped shape students with a passion for being writers, politicians, business people, journalists and other professions. Exposure to stories about legends and great leaders inspire them. Online newspapers have tried to shut off the traditionally printed newspapers, but it has not been entirely successful. Publishers have been afraid that offering free content on the Internet is going to reduce the sales of the traditionally printed ones. To curb this, they have introduced a subscription fee for access to the online news, which cuts down the demand for online news. The welfare benefits outweigh the cost. Hence, both forms are still on demand in the market. The Internet has brought a new experience to the publishers. In the past, they were stuck to publishing covered books but now there is a variety. It is an exciting experience, which increases the publisher’s motivation by doing something out of the norm. It has led to the rise of blogs by writers.

Digitization has made the research process easier. The education sector has developed due to this. Students can now research information easily with the click of a button. In the past, studying was a struggle when students were limited to study volumes of books when carrying out research. It was time wasting and tedious. Covered books were also limited since schools could not provide every student’s desire of books for study. E-books have benefited the education industry since any student can access information anytime and anywhere (Morrison, 2011). There are online resources such as references, research topics, and even catalogs, which are beneficial to students instead of using a traditional, physical library.

The increase in the use of Internet and digitization has exposed the publishing industry to working hand in hand with other industries. They use technicians from the information and technology industry to create networks for them. This has helped in job creation in the industry, making lives better and even contributing to economic growth. It also promotes teamwork and good working relations to have a good working environment. There exist many publishers in competition with others, which motivates critical thinking and prevents stagnation to remain in the market. Technology has also caused the publishing industry to be flexible in their operations, as they are not stuck to publishing books with covers. Barnes and Noble claim that it sells three times digital books than physical books combined (Morrison, 2011).

Publishers are expanding their markets to social media such as Facebook and Twitter. They are powerful and massive social media platforms, which reach out to many people. Social media is not only limited to the interaction of people, but publishers also get a platform to post interesting contents that would capture the reader’s attention. It exposes people to long-form content discoveries. It also exposes them to interesting articles and discoveries in the platforms, which creates a relationship between the writers and the readers. Digital magazines have turned out to be an activity of leisure to some students (McGuire, 2015). They can also sharpen their skills, talents and hobbies through such exposures. Shifting from the printed books due to digitized publishing has been a challenge but the publishing industry has come up with ways to embrace the shift. They have looked for new distribution platforms, which allows for more streamlined contents instead of relying on traditional marketing infrastructure. It opens up options for free contents for readers and high profits to the publishers. By embracing the digitized publishing, publishers can now find new ways to monetize long-form content. Since digital content is not limited to physical space, it gives publishers a platform to express themselves with no limitation. An article can be transformed into a must- faceted story due to its ability to expand. Digitalized distribution has raised the expectations of the consumers. Therefore, the publishers must deliver. Embracing up to date designs helps to retain readers. Embracing applications provide publishers with effective ways to satisfy their readers and increase of digital edition distribution. An example for this is the increasing number of applications associated with various magazine and newspaper companies. The form of digital content transmitted via applications on mobile devices enhances the interactive experiences of reading. Videos, links and sounds can be embedded in the application alongside the traditional text content.

Similarly, Internet popularity has also led to the creation of apps. The education industry has successfully used apps to connect with students in a more engaging way. Parents and teachers report positive improvements in many categories including academic performance, critical thinking skills, motivation, positive attitude and literacy due to the use of those apps. Students can also access online tutorials, which help them gain more knowledge and a chance to access their abilities themselves. There exist students living with disabilities who faced a challenge in coping with studies in their conditions. Digital contents and applications made it possible for those students to study in a better way without having to move. Some applications tutor them on how to do some things that seemed impossible in the past. It made life easier for those students. Applications allow both publishers and school teachers/instructors to reach a growing number of people using tablets and mobile phones in a more effective way.

Digital publishing has lead to self- publishing innovations. It is motivated by the urge of independence, which had not been foreseen for the publishing industry in the past. Self- publishing has offered independent publishers a chance to new and exciting opportunities for distributing digital content. Initially, the process was tedious with the publishing and awaiting acknowledgment and marketing afterward. In addition, digitization has encouraged students with a passion and talent for writing to pursue their dreams. As a result of this, students can find a way to express themselves and turn to activities that will boost their growth. There is a platform for everyone without limitation to display his or her talents to the whole world. Social media makes it easier and effective. It saves on cost and time. The publishing world was once reserved for large organizations who would afford production infrastructures but now it is expansive, and others can do it independently. Self- publishers can now operate from their homes. Costs of production have been minimized such as volume print runs. Due to increase in self-published books, there has been a 105% increase in drama books and poetry, 80% biographies and general fiction and 30% increase in science books (McGuire, 2015)

Technology has indeed impacted (both positively and negatively) to the development of many industries. It is foreseen that there will be a big disruption in industries in the coming years as the world gets digitalized by the day. It leads to a massive imbalance of supply and demand in the industries. Dreams of many people have come true due to the technology advancement.

References
Ronte, H. (December 01, 2000). The Impact of Technology on Publishing. Publishing Research
Quarterly, 16, 4, 11-22.
Carreiro, E. (December 01, 2010). Electronic Books: How Digital Devices and Supplementary
New Technologies are changing the Face of the Publishing Industry. Publishing
Research Quarterly, 26, 4, 219-235.
De, F. D. M. (2003). Closing the gap in education and technology. Washington, D.C: World
Bank.
Greco, A. N. (2005). The book publishing industry. Mahwah, N. J: Lawrence Erlbaum
Associates.
McGuire, H. (2015). Sifting Through All These Books – Tools of Change for Publishing.Toc.oreilly.com. Retrieved 30 September 2015, from http://toc.oreilly.com/2010/06/sifting-through-all-these-book.html
Morrison, E. (2011). Are books dead, and can authors survive? | Ewan Morrison. the Guardian. Retrieved 30 September 2015, from http://www.theguardian.com/books/2011/aug/22/are- books-dead-ewan-morrison

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