The conference was one part of a two part conference that presented a white paper Digital Asset Distribution for Book Publishers written by Mike Shatzkin (The Idea Logical Company) and Mark Bide (Rightscom Limited). The second part of the conference, which will deliver largely the same content, will be delivered in London next month at which time the presentations from both meetings will be made available. The White paper establishes the context for digital asset distribution:
But now, and rather suddenly, every book publisher is finding it has the need to manage the digital distribution of their content. The same set of content is needed by different people, in different forms, in different places and at different times, over and over again.
The white paper poses a number of questions which they later answer based on an extensive set of interviews with the key players in the industry. The pair interviewed companies in the US and Europe and publishers and a set of the predominate DADs. Among the questions they pose:
- When is it sensible for publishers to buy or build their own technical infrastructure?
- What are the risks of outsourcing Digital Asset Distribution?
- What functions currently managed by publishers might be rendered obsolete by a DAD?
- What is the relationship between Digital Asset Management (DAM) and Digital Asset Distribution?
- How much does a publisher need to know in order even to make use of a DAD?
- How does on line access to publisher’s content change both processes and accountability?
- To what extent have the leading edge professional and academic publishers been disadvantaged by their early entry into digital distribution?
- How many DADs do we need?
Presenting at the meeting were representative from Harpercollins, Ingram, Newstand, Bibliovault, codeMantra, CPI Publishing, MPS Technologies and Value Chain International. Each presentation was interesting in documenting the direction each company was taking in this arena. The comments by Bibliovault were especially on point for any one thinking about digital asset management:
- Make sure you have access to your files at any time – don’t be reliant on the vendor to provide access
- Don’t hand off the content and walk away expecting everything will be OK
- Get your short term goals met
- Be sure you can stockpile: a place to put the content even-though the content may not be released to the public