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The Knowledge-based Content Business is Facing Digital Disruption

Posted by Ron Aspe, CEO on 10/26/2016
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tidal-wave-content-hs.jpgAmazon and Apple have completely changed how we consume music. In less than a decade, we have gone from CDs, to downloads, to streaming. The online content industry is about to face its own tsunami of change.

Coming soon to the knowledge-based content industry. We predict that:

1) Prices for content in the public domain will drop dramatically.

Publishers have made a lot of money simply by making it easy for people to find information that they themselves harvest from the public domain. That lucrative strategy will lose its luster soon, as more corporations — and perhaps even governments and associations — take advantage of plummeting technology costs and start publishing the same or similar content at steeply discounted rates.

2) Prices for premium content will rise even more rapidly than they have been.

Profits earned from “selling” public domain content currently subsidize the cost of creating premium content offered by many publishers. As these margins erode, prices for premium content will rise even higher than the often quoted 8% per annum.

3) More competition in the paid content industry will reduce overall costs to end users.

It used to be that content buyers wanting convenience would choose a single supplier, who provided a common user interface through which a variety of external resources could be accessed and searched. That UI capability is now readily available and quite inexpensive. When coupled with a broad range of suppliers, the ability to customize a single front end affords savvy content buyers the ability to pick and choose from multiple smaller vendors who often offer better pricing — without having to navigate multiple user interfaces.

4) The barrier between internal and external knowledge-based content will disappear.

Advanced KM platforms (such as Lucidea’s) provide a single user interface that can simultaneously search both internal and external content sources and deliver a single, merged result set. Advanced systems also enable end users to annotate and link internal and external content so that others in their organization can more easily find it. This adds both value and relevance beyond that which external suppliers alone can provide.

5) The ability to accurately measure usage of all KM resources will lead to evidence-based content purchasing.

Historically, the ability to track content usage was performed by stand-alone applications and directed exclusively toward paid external content. Leading knowledge management and library automation solutions such as SydneyEnterprise are now able to track and report on usage of both internal and external resources. This empowers KM professionals to see what users are looking for and where they are finding it. Thus equipped, they can develop more effective content purchasing strategies which take into account the full range of end-user needs and behavior.

There are several forces at work that will keep the disruption rolling.

  • More competitors in the market
  • Skyrocketing costs for premium content
  • Pressure to reduce costs
  • End-user demands for a more holistic perspective of their organization’s knowledge resources

One thing is clear: by choosing the right partners and technology today, you can ensure which your organization is well positioned to enjoy the benefits of the emerging knowledge-based content digital disruption.

Topics: Library Management, Knowledge Management