Elpub buttonEl.pub Analytic Issue Number 5


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El.pub Analytic No. 5 Conference round-up

Page 2

Contents: The solutions company companies | Digital publishing industry consolidation | Pervasive games | Games - blurring the distinction between fiction and reality | Intangible assets | What did the first person who milked a cow, think he was doing?


Digital publishing industry consolidation

The current problems of NASDAQ and the dot coms is allowing some of the major players to acquire the assets of failing startups - normal during a slowdown in economic activity. Consolidation is certainly going on in the digital publishing industry in all sectors whether videogames or consultancy. A noteworthy point, looking across than rather within the different sectors, is that the protagonists tend to be aiming to dominate their own sector rather than the whole industry.

So clearly, convergence is not just a technical issue. When the heads of large corporations aim to dominate their sector they are heading for a larger playing field. The impact of technology, which is opening the market through ubiquitous user access to the distribution chains, will be to bring traditionally separate sectors of the communications industry into direct competition.

One of the themes in this convergence, evident at all the meetings, is a growing realisation that content may be king, but without access and navigation tools to get to the content the user might as well not exist. But there's the rub. The user would like to see information and entertainment from a variety of content creators, but through an interface that he is happy with, that reflects his mode of working, and with the ability to manipulate and process the derived information with his favourite third party tools. Whereas, with mind numbing predictability, the 'publishers' (in the widest sense) would like to lock the user into a set of proprietary channels, interfaces and tools that they control individually.

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