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