Principal, Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd, Canberra
Visiting Fellow, Department of Computer Science, Australian National University
Version of 26 May 2002
© Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd, 2000-02
This document is at http://www.anu.edu.au/people/Roger.Clarke/EC/EPublW3.html
Here are the PowerPoint slides supporting this session
The home-page for the Workshop is at http://www.anu.edu.au/people/Roger.Clarke/EC/EPublWksp.html
08:30-09:30 - Presentation
The purpose of this session is to consider important factors in the business application of electronic publishing. The session commences with a presentation, under the following headings:
The following readings are recommended to accompany the presentation:
09:30-10:30 - Group Breakout Session(s)
10:30-11:00 - Coffee Break
11:00-11:30 - Mini-Case Study 3: Encyclopaedia Britannica
In 1991, Encyclopaedia Britannica sold about 400,000 printed sets, and in 1997 about 10,000. The collapse was triggered by the success of Microsoft Encarta and other CD-ROM versions of lower-quality but approximately equivalent collections sold in a convenient and inexpensive form.
Since then, web-based information services have mushroomed. Despite its brand reputation, and the apparent quality and presumed value of the content the company owned, revenue halved, losses have accumulated, the company has changed hands several times, and survival remains uncertain (Rayport & Gerace 1997 - HBS Case 396-051, Evans & Wurster 1997, Melcher 1997, Downes & Mui 1998, p.51, Pang 1998, Shapiro & Varian 1999, pp. 19-21, 26).
Since 1997, in its scramble to survive, EB has tried CD-ROMs, an advertising-funded web-site, gratis look-up of any individual topic, and a web-site that supports subscription-based access by consumers, and subscription-based access by educational institutions.
What should Encyclopaedia Britannica have done in 1991, in order to protect its market-leadership and profitability?
11:30-12:00 - Groups report back in Plenary Session
12:00-13:00 - Lunch Break
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Created: 22 May 2000
Last Amended: 26 May 2002
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