(Market) size matters

The biggest threat to publishing: people not reading

David Rothman, who has been a persistent advocate for widespread access to digital content, recently wrote a lengthy post calling for the development a "library - publisher complex". As his parallel, he invokes the "military-industrial complex" that President Eisenhower warned U.S. citizens about before leaving office in 1961.

The parallel works in one way: the idea of marshalling a comprehensive, integrated solution to a well-defined problem. Though his post is long, Rothman captures the issue succinctly:

"Libraries and publishers should fret less about the division of the pie and worry more about its size."

This idea reminds me of a 2011 post, "The opportunity in abundance", in which I called the prospect of people not reading "a superthreat". Though libraries and publishers continue to struggle to find common ground, the value of cooperation and mutual reinforcement has not diminished.


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