Wednesday, 14 October 2009


Frankfurt Book Fair 2009 Digitisation Survey


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Organisers of the Frankfurt Book Fair 2009 have been conducting a survey about digitisation in the book publishing industry. The results of the survey will be correlated and put together in the Bookfair's newsletter following the event. I thought it would be interesting to present the questions being asked in the survey here. You can go to the Frankfurt Book Fair's site and take the survey online at this link.

So here are the questions. Feel free to post a comment if you have any feedback on the survey.


Q1. How do you perceive digitisation and the associated changes in the media industry?

* Mostly as an opportunity

* Mostly as a crisis for the industry


Q2. In your opinion, what are the three biggest challenges for the media industry? (Please check three answers)

* Digitisation: technical implementation

* Digitisation: development of new business models, new multimedia products, new marketing strategies

* Piracy

* Price competition from free digital offers (e.g. user generated content)

* Strengthened position of authors (increasing possibility for direct marketing without a publisher / bookseller)

* Concentration of distribution channels

* Oversupply of contents / books (too many titles)

* Changing media use / reading habits

* Current economic crisis

* Other

Q3. How well is your company prepared for the challenges of "Digital Publishing"? Which area requires the most urgent attention to equip your company for these challenges? Please check only one answer:

* Knowledge / Strategy: market research, IT competence, development of new business models

* Personnel: suitable staff, education of employees, competent management

* Technical infrastructure, automated work processes

* Networking: new cooperations with other creative sectors (Film, Games, Music, Audio etc.), new business partners

* Investments

Q4. What per cent of your turnover is made with digital products? [up to three digits may be entered, you can skip the question]

% (2009) (estimate)

Q5. What percentage of your turnover will derive from digital products in two years time (estimate)? [max. three digits, you can skip the question]

% in 2 years (estimate)

Q6. In your opinion, when will digital content generate more turnover than business with traditional books? Please select one answer:

* 2012

* 2018

* 2028

* 2038

* never

Q7. Which price models for digital content do you think have the most long-term potential? More than one answer is allowed.

* Micropayments (paying for individual "information bites")

* Flat rate (a subscription covers all of a provider`s online content)

* Freemium (almost everything is free online - only selected digital products are subject to a fee)

* Premium (extra subscription for selected online content)

* Free (everything is free online yet advertises physical products for sale)

* Advertising (online content is free - profit is earned by selling advertising space)

* None at all

* Other (please comment)

Q8. Do you believe that in five year`s time DRM (Digital Rights Management) will still be relevant for digital contents / e-books? Please choose one answer.

* Yes

* No

* In certain cases (please comment)


Q9. What is a suitable sales price for e-books? Please choose one answer.

* more expensive than the (current) printed edition (list price)

* same price as the (current) printed edition (list price)

* about 10% cheaper

* about 20% cheaper

* about 30% cheaper

* more than 30% cheaper

* a standard price for e-books (e.g. like Amazon's $9.99)

* Other (please comment)


Q10. In the short-term, which of the following factors could hinder e-books / digital contents from gaining a foothold in the market? Please number the obstacles in order of importance (1 = greatest hindrance):

* Lack of media-ready / multimedia contents

* Complicated clearance of rights / copyright issues

* DRM (Digital Rights Management)

* Confusing diversity of e-book formats

* Not enough e-books offered in bookstores

* Underdeveloped price models

* Underdeveloped technology in the end devices / lack of multimedia-compatible end devices


Q11. Which of the following measures will play an increasingly important role in eMarketing? Please select the three most important measures: (Please choose three answers)

* Digital samples (mini-applications which allow a limited view of the book)

* Digital review copies & previews

* Use of multimedia contents (e.g. video & audio previews)

* Performance marketing (measurable direct marketing in interactive media, e.g. search engine marketing, e-mail marketing, banner advertising)

* Viral marketing (use of social media like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn)

* Other (please comment)


Q12. Compared to last year, how would you assess your business turnover in 2009?

* considerably worse (more than -10%)

* worse (up to -10%)

* unchanged

* better (up to +10%)

* considerably better (more than +10%)


Q13. How do expect your business to develop in 2010 (compared to 2009)?

* worse

* unchanged

* better


Q14. How is the current economic and financial situation affecting the development of new digital business models?

* slowing the process down

* no influence

* accelerating the process


Some questions about yourself:
(Please check only one answer for each question)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Q15. Are you :

* Male

* Female


Q16. Age:

* - 30

* 30-50

* 50+


Q17. Where are you based?

* China

* Europe (without UK)

* India

* Japan

* Korea

* Latin America

* North America

* Southeast Asia

* UK

* Australia / New Zealand

* Africa

* United Arab Emirates


Q18. In which sector do you primarily work?

* Specialist Information / Science

* Education

* How-to / Knowledge

* Fiction

* Non-Fiction

* Children`s Books

* Other


Q19. What kind of company do you work for?

* Publisher

* Printing & manufacturing

* Wholesale / Distribution

* Literary agency

* Bookseller

* Library / Information Services / University

* Institution (cultural / scientific)

* Consultancy

* Media

* Other


Q20. What is your role?

* Editor

* Sales

* Marketing / Public Relations

* Rights Management

* Agent

* Author

* Librarian

* Scientist

* Translator

* Bookseller

* Software Developer

* Media Producer

* Other


Q21. What is your current position?

* CEO / Director

* Senior Management

* Management

* Executive

* Assistant

* Freelancer


Q22. Do you personally read e-books?

* Yes

* No


Q23. Do you personally use e-readers?

* Yes

* No


Q24. Which device do you like best?

* Dedicated devices (E Ink e-reader, Kindle, Sony, iRex, etc.)

* Non-dedicated devices (iPhone, Blackberry, Android, handheld gaming devices, etc.)

* Online (PC, laptop)
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