“Publishing is being presented with opportunities and many of these publishing companies don’t have the resources to go after them,” said Brian Napack, a senior advisor at private-equity firm Providence Equity Partners and former president of Macmillan, speaking at the Pub Launch conference in New York.
Napack then pointed out that publishing companies had reacted logically to this threat by getting bigger, the Penguin-Random House merger the best example. “Many publishing companies are going after scale right now, which is a very natural reaction,” he said.
He added that scale alone wouldn’t give publishers the solutions they need to take advantage of new opportunities. He argued that innovation and willingness to disrupt their own businesses would be essential.
Publisher should look for opportunities “Where can innovation and disruption create disproportionate growth — and it’s not by sticking to your knitting,” he said.
Napack cited F+W Media as an example of a company that disrupted itself with innovative changes and was successful doing it. (F+W Media owns and operates Digital Book World.)