Nearshore Americas

Outsourcers Pick up the Pieces for Shattered US Media

Attention specialty outsourcers: There are dozens of struggling US media businesses waiting to hear from you.

As the US magazine business suffers, KPO providers are producing quick relief to ease opex.

Bringing instant opex relief to US media brands are KPO providers skilled in digital brand development and services.

Just bring two assurances with you when you meet with these companies: 1) You Know their Business, Deeply and Can Prove It. 2) You Can Lower Opex,  Immediately.
Consumer and business media brands and newspaper conglomerates continue to fight for their lives in a market filled with uncertainty as the digital revolution takes claim to legacy business models that up until only a few years ago were heavily reliant on print.  Just this week Forbes, the venerable media brand based in New York City that virtually established the practice of business journalism, announced another 30 staff reductions which comes on top of 100 cut during the last year. Conde Nast pulled the plug on Gourmet, Cookie and two wedding magazines, Elegant Bride and Modern Bride within recent weeks and now Time Inc, publisher of Fortune, says it is preparing to let go of staff in the immediate future.
Meanwhile, B2B and trade magazine publishers and of course newspapers are not being spared from the pain of dwindling revenue,  changing readership habits and collapsing print businesses – Advanstar Communications, ALM Media, Cygnus Business Media and Questex Media, all of which have either announced restructuring plans or have been under bankruptcy protection since August.
Savvy outsourcing partners have been quick to capitalize on these changing market dynamics. For example, India-based Aequor Technolgies counts Nielsen (formerly VNU) among its clients. Services provided to media companies includes web development, design and management; SEO; database conversion projects; call center and telemarketing services; editorial services; content management and – increasingly – turn-key development and production of E-Books, which are also known as digital magazines.
One of the most active outsourcing partners in the E-Book category is Innodata Isogen where business has been robust. Al Girardi, a vice president at Innodata told Nearshore Americas today that “process expertise and expert staff” is an absolute requirement when servicing media brands. Girardi says Innodata prefers not to be classified in the “abstract category” of  KPO (knowledge process outsourcing) provider, but instead emphasizes core competency areas. “We differentiate based on our process expertise,” he says.  Innodata just announced a $4 million E-book project for an unnamed publisher where the company will effectively digitize print products so that they are  readily available and readable to an online audience.
Other outsourcing providers active in the media sector include Apex CoVantage, Aptara (which has built almost its entire business on E-Book support and services) and SPi Global Solutions.
There is a surprising lack of Nearshore support facilities for many in this class of providers. Girardi acknowledges  that LatAm is up and coming and, although the company has no public plans to establish a presence in the region, he says the company is aware of its attractions.

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Kirk Laughlin

Kirk Laughlin is an award-winning editor and subject expert in information technology and offshore BPO/ contact center strategies.

1 comment

  • Great point Kirk.
    The service providers who are able to provide both a means to cut operating expenses, and the expertise to help transform business models/processes to take advantage of the new media landscape are key to many publishers survival. This kind of partner can provide media companies the financial breathing room to survive through reduced operating expenses, and the digital content expertise to thrive in this rapidly changing market.
    -Kevin Burns
    Director, Business Development
    Apex CoVantage