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Domestic publishing sector accelerating digital transformation
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2009-06-01 09:37

By Liu Xiaofeng


In recent years, the informatization of the Chinese publishing industry or new trials of the "digital publishing" emerged one after another. "Digital publishing" can be similarly understood as "digitalized publishing". It not only includes the whole digital course and result of the traditional publishing industry, but also the newly emerged digital media. About the former, we have seen that in recent years, the traditional publishing industry accelerated increasingly its steps of digital transition in terms of publishing technique, publishing media, and publication broadcasting and distribution, which are changing the existing style of the publishing industry all-roundly. It has been testified by those new media companies which emerge successively and grow stronger day by day.


Currently, the digitalization of the traditional publishing industry and the newly emerging digital media industry tend to penetrate into and merge with each other. With the rapid economic development, the continuous improvement of information technology and internet application level, and people's ever-changing reading habit and reading environment, the Chinese digital publishing industry embraced a period of rapid growth between 2007 and 2008. The income scale of the Chinese digital publishing industry in 2006 was RMB21.3 billion yuan, and RMB36.2 billion yuan in 2007, increasing by 70.15 percent than 2006. The income of the digital publishing industry even reached as high as RMB53 billion yuan in 2008.


Experts predict that the digital publishing industry will keep the rapid developing momentum in the next years, the growth rate of income scale will be around 50 percent per year, and that of the user scale will be around 32 percent per year. Meanwhile, original websites will grow soon, and their original contents will develop from print media to internet media. In the future, the digital publishing will develop towards the direction of wireless mobile publishing, customization on demand and pan-media publishing.


The digital publishing industry has generated some famous enterprises in various aspects, for example, internet magazine companies like China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), ENPS, etc, four major e-book companies such as Founder apabi, ChineseAll, and four major multimedia interaction magazine companies such as ZCOM, Xplus, POCO, and VIKA.


Although the digital publishing industry has generated some famous enterprises and brands in all kinds of projects, in terms of digitalization, the traditional publishing units and digital technology providers are largely at the upper and middle reaches of the industrial chain. The traditional publishing units focus on the transition of their enterprises and products, and technology providers focus on the obtainment of content from the traditional publishing units. The two parties have not shaped up the situation of marching for the digital publishing as a whole.


Integration with the speed acceleration helps find new profit growth point


The rapid development of the digital publishing is the major tendency of the world's publishing industry. The Chinese digital publishing market starts off comparatively late, and still at the beginning stage in terms of hardware development, industrial chain construction and the cultivation of the customer reading habit. The industrial standards and management rules of digital publishing lag behind relatively. Experts indicated that the cooperation of contents and resources in the Chinese publishing industry should be more diversified and develop towards the reorganization and integration.


The digital publishing is a course of "from inside to outside". The capability of digital publishing is a capability of resource integration, and its core is the change of product ideas and the reorganization of content resources. If publishing houses rushed to conduct digital publishing without altering their ideas and rearranging their resources, the most possible result are some electric books. As professional institutes good at contents, publishing houses should not stop here, but finish the reorganization from inside to outside as soon as possible, and realize the transition from traditional publishing houses to digital publishing houses.


At present, domestic traditional publishing houses and digital technology or digital platform providers are further integrated in terms of content resources. In February 2008, the periodical series subsidiary to Chinese Medical Association and Wanfang Data Co., Ltd. set up the strategic cooperation relationship and will jointly build China's STM online publishing business. It indicated that the cooperation between traditional publishing units and digital technology companies had walked out of the relationship of "entrustment and agency" and developed towards the direction of value union. Meanwhile, such cooperation has finished the situation of the resource multi-partial authorization and repeated publishing, and initiated the period of exclusive cooperation between the traditional publishing units and digital technology providers.


The persistent international financial crisis may restrain the capital investment to and market promotion of electronic publication reading terminal technologies, but judging from the fact that on the international publishing market, some publishing houses pay attention to the digital publishing to deal with the declining trend of the traditional publishing industry, the process of "digitalization of publishing" will be further accelerated. Under the practical condition of declined sales of traditional books, to promote the digital development of copyright and look for new profit growth point will help build up new digital publishing industrial chain and speed up the transformation of the whole pattern of the publishing industry.


Currently, the Chinese publishing groups have expedited their steps of digital transition one after another. In May 2008, China Publishing Group invested RMB10 million yuan to the foundation of "China Publishing Group Digital Media Co., Ltd.", which was a crucial step of the said group to improve its traditional publishing industry with information technology. Shanghai Century Publishing Group started earlier in terms of digitalization, and it has performed business mode exploration in a dozen aspects successively. In addition, Sichuan Publishing Group, Hunan Publishing Group etc. have also experienced much investment to and exploration of digital publishing. Besides publishing groups, journalism groups also accelerated their digitalization step, for example, journalism groups such as Guangzhou Daily, Jiefang Daily, Ningbo Daily have set up digitalization divisions or launched digital products in succession. It is predicted that with the further development of technologies and applications, the digital transition of the traditional publishing units would be faster.

 

Source:CE.cn 
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