Archive for the 'Market data' Category

Recession is the Mother of Invention (ASA Conference)

I was pleased to have been invited to talk at the Association of Subscription Agents Annual Conference this week, because otherwise I would most likely not have gone and this would have meant missing an interesting meeting.

Nearly all the talks were informative and engaging, and even if not one then usually the other. For me it was particularly interesting to get updates on the state of PDA (patron-driven acquisition), the Chinese market and new developments in data-linked and semantic publishing (though it would be nice to see an actual prototype  from Jan Velterop rather than just his ever-more-ingenious Keynote slides), while sobering to hear about the likely state of UK university finances over the near (and indeed, medium) term. (To summarise, in the notorious words of the outgoing Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liam Byrne: “I’m afraid to tell you there’s no money left.”) Unashamedly at the engaging end of the informative–engaging spectrum (he was not being overly disingenuous when he described it as “fact free”), Mark Carden’s talk was nonetheless thought-provoking (and is available on YouTube).

The conference programme is listed on their website and I understand the speaker slides will be made available at some point. In the meantime my own slides (not terribly informative without the accompanying talk, I’m afraid) are available on Slideshare here.

The Twitterstream can be found here, for what it’s worth. I got the impression that there was rather less in the “back-channel” than at some previous conferences, with the bulk of twittering coming from just two tweeps.

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Overview of trends in STM journals market

Probably old news for most, but the Library Journal annual survey by Lee Van Orsdel and Kathleen Born is as good this year as ever: Reality Bites: Periodicals Price Survey 2009 (Library Journal, 15 April 2009).

The authors are very pessimistic on the impact of the global recession and the prospect for library cuts. They report ARL saying that most of its 123 libraries will lose funding in 2010. Cuts are estimated at 5-15% for FY10, with the same or higher in FY11, and possibly cuts in FY12 and beyond.

The article also covers open access, reporting that over half of NIH-funded articles are now getting deposited in PubMedCentral, with 400,000 users accessing 700,000 articles each day; Orsdel & Born don’t think the “Fair Copyright” Act will get passed but also say it’s unlikely Obama would sign it into law even if it were passed.

Consortia deals and bundles continue to be the dominant business model – libraries now acquire more than half of their content in bundles of 50 titles or more.

Finally, the authors describe as a “startling twist” Outsell’s Nov 2008 analysis that suggested that simply having the content wouldn’t be enough, and that the future of subscriptions would be in providing workflow tools and services to help users manage the existing ocean of information. Since Outsell (and others) have been predicting the importance of workflow solutions since at least 2002 it’s hard to see what’s startling about it, but it’s certainly an important trend. It’s also another trend (like consortia big deals) that favours large publishers (who can afford to invest in workflow technology and have a breadth of content to underpin it), potentially at the expense of smaller, society publishers. Some 25% of Thomson revenues now come from software-based products, according to this article by David Worlock of Outsell from 2007, which sees workflow integration as a potential disruptive technology.

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Walter de Gruyter buys KG Saur

From the announcement on the de Gruyter website:

Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG has with immediate effect acquired the complete publishing programme of K. G. Saur Verlag GmbH, which since 2005 has also included the programme of Max Niemeyer Verlag. Through this acquisition Walter de Gruyter will become the market leader in the subject areas classical studies, philosophy, German studies, linguistics and English and Romance studies, as well as in library sciences and general library reference works. The headquarters of the company will be located in Berlin

Internet advertising continues to grow

The Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers announced that Internet advertising revenues in the US reached an estimated new record of $4.2 billion for the third quarter of 2006. From the press release:

“Interactive advertising, with its eighth consecutive quarter of growth and the largest single quarter ever, is on pace for its biggest year. This growth follows the trend of where consumers are spending their media time and the unique ability of Interactive advertising to effectively target and monitor ad campaigns,” said David Silverman, Partner, Assurance, PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Q3-1

The UK market is smaller, of course, but is also growing strongly. The IABUK reported at the beginning of October that online advertising sales for the first half of 2006 approached £1bn, at £971m. The 40.3% year-on-year growth meant that online ads in the UK now represent 10,5% of the advertising market, and is considerably larger than the radio, outdoor and consumer magazines sectors, and is approaching the share taken by national newspapers (11.4%). In fact, while online ads showed strong growth, TV, press, radio and direct mail all declined in the same period. IABUK anticipated that online would overtake national newspapers by the end of 2006.

H1-2006

I was pleased to see that spending on interruptive formats, including pop-ups, is declining and now represents 0.7% of all online ads. Somehow the annoyance factor remains substantially higher than 0.7% – possibly because some substantial users of pop-ups don’t report statistics to the IAB?

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Simba forecasts the online business information services market to grow 3.4% in 2006.

Simba had a report out in August, Business Information Markets 2006-2007. Not exactly news but they keep on spamming emailing me about it. The Executive Summary says “revenue growth in the market for online business information services is projected to reach 3.4% in 2006, following growth of 3.1% in 2005. The industry is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 3.3% from 2004 to 2006”. This seems pretty backward-looking for a report for 2006-07 but perhaps that’s what they’re prepared to say for free. (The Executive Summary requires you to provide your email (with no opt-out options) but gives very little in return.)

Mind you, whenever I read these kind of growth rate predictions given to a tenth of a percentage point I’m always put in mind of Scott Adams. In The Dilbert Future he said that there are only two ways for predicting the future: “nutty methods” such as reading horoscopes, tea leaves, tarot cards or crystal balls, or methods that “put well-researched facts into a sophisticated computer… commonly referred to as ‘a complete waste of time’”.

The full report costs $2,390. You probably know if you need it.


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