TL;DR – Publishers must prioritize consumer choice and convenience in their offerings to offer truly superior user experiences. Publishers can innovate if they (1) examine the music industry’s unbundling approach and start offering individual article access, (2) keep their assets on their own platforms so they can be properly monetized, and (3) learn from Netflix’s ability to strategically develop a product that speaks to the market in a user-centric way.

Key Points

  • Publishers should examine how other companies have broken apart and grouped content together, and apply similar user-centric approaches.
  • In TV, people didn’t want to commit to bundled cable subscriptions but demanded access to the content they actually wanted to watch.
  • The music industry de-bundled albums and gave consumers more flexibility by re-bundling individual songs via iTunes and streaming services. 
  • Provide convenience to your consumers and they will reward you. Publishers should be open to strategic partnerships with technology providers to meet their users’ needs via unbundling. It also generates subscriptions, turning users into paying customers.
  • Don’t allow a third-party to own your content – consumers didn’t listen to Whitney Houston through a publisher like BMG, but rather on MTV. Facebook has pushed publishers to give up independence, when they should want to keep their assets on their own properties.
  • Technology can enable paradigms to shift, but it also empowers users to challenge the technology and force it to evolve. Publishers should create superior user experiences that involve fast and easy access to content tailored to users’ needs.

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