Publish! New players, new innovations [REPORT]

Last night publishers and innovators poured into St Brides’s to discuss how people in publishing and media can take advantage of technological innovation. A range of professionals took to the stage, ranging from the aptly named Chris Book (Bardowl) explaining his audio book subscription service to Peter Usborne (Usborne Publishing) explaining his reluctance to jump on the bandwagon, just yet.

First up was Agant. Dave Addey and Alyson Fielding walked us through their impressive Timeline World War 2 app, and discussed how the future of the documentary is as interesting a concept as the future of the book. Most impressive is the app’s ability to change presenter depending on whether the app is set in the UK or the US.

Eric Huang‘s presentation considered Penguin’s vision of looking at toys, film and book publishers as content creators. On the app-buildiing front, he advocated the need to focus on the whole brand and the characters behind a story, introducing the metaphor of the theatre: thinking of the screen in terms of up stage and back stage.

A question from the audience about waste of investment sparked off a great conversation from Chris Book and Peter Usborne. What happens when technology changes and development goes to waste, as new platforms emerge? Book made interesting comments about the main competitor to iOS being the Web. Should publishers reconsider web apps?

A couple of top statements of the evening were from Peter Usborne: ‘when it comes to apps, Market first, Market first, Market first’ and from Trevor Klein: ‘Design for your user and collaborate to supplement your weaknesses’.

To sum up, the panel proved a range of successful achievements and the quick – fire presentation format, sparked up plenty of creative ideas as everyone moved swiftly into the bar.