Research reveals what the publishing industry can learn from Netflix
October 24, 2019 | Cultural Fund
Justin Ractliffe, formerly Managing Director of Hachette Australia and now Publishing Director at Penguin Random House Australia, will share the findings from his Copyright Agency Publisher Fellowship report, Instinct, Input and Insight: Reader-centricity in Publishing, at a publishing industry event on 4 December.
Ractliffe received the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund 2019 Publisher Fellowship to travel to the biggest book market in the world and research how Australian publishers can gain greater consumer insight through using data. His report focuses on what the Australian publishing industry can learn from the phenomenal success of online entertainment service Netflix and other digital content distribution platforms.
He interviewed marketers, consumer insight professionals, publishers and industry consultants to better understand how to use technology to understand more about readers’ wants and needs, and direct their attention to the book product. The report explores how to collate data that not only empowers publishers to make more informed publishing decisions, but shifts the focus from business-to-business to business-to-consumer.
Justin believes there’s a misconception that digital platforms like Netflix use their data to dictate decisions about what content to produce. “For the most part this is not the case; they’re using the data to match viewers to the content that meets their needs,” he explains.
“As publishers we need to start thinking longer term about the place of books in consumers’ lives. It’s about starting with the consumer, shifting the mindset from the product-focused mentality of ‘prove to me that there is a market’ to a consumer-first mentality of ‘here is a market, how can we serve it?’
“Being data-focused doesn’t mean the end of creativity and ‘gut instinct’,” he adds. “For insight-driven creative businesses like Netflix it actually allows for more creativity and less managerial interference. It’s about achieving ‘informed intuition’.”
Copyright Agency CEO Adam Suckling says Justin’s research is of enormous value to the Australian publishing industry. “The Publisher Fellowship allows for the pursuit of innovation and professional development from global experiences and sees those benefits shared with the broader Australian publishing sector.”
Read Justin’s full report on the Copyright Agency’s website.
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