What are Digital Publishing’s “Durable Goods”?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

paid content

By Edward Nawotka

Today’s lead story explains that for publishers to survive and thrive, they must focus their effort on producing content people are willing to pay for — by and large this means products that offer “sustainable value.” The term can mean a lot of things to a lot of different people. My car, for example, offers me sustainable value — I use it every day and will continue to do so for some time to come. In the parlance of retail and marketing, it’s what’s called a durable good.

Publishing’s “product” (or content, if you prefer) tends to be ephemeral, of the “use once” variety. So, how does “sustainable value” translate to the publishing industry. What are publishing’s “durable goods”? Encyclopedias once were “durable goods,” but not in the age of digital. So what are publishing’s equivalent of digital durable goods?

Let us know what you think in the comments below.

About the Author

Edward Nawotka

A widely published critic and essayist, Edward Nawotka serves as a speaker, educator and consultant for institutions and businesses involved in the global publishing and content industries. He was also editor-in-chief of Publishing Perspectives since the launch of the publication in 2009 until January 2016.