Content Creation, Delivery Wasting Billions

If content wants to remain king, someone has to find a more efficient way to move it around the Net and among the growing number of devices. A lack of efficient publishing capabilities for digital content costs organizations $750 billion annually because knowledge workers are seeking and capturing information for them to do their jobs, according to a study by A.T. Kearney.

The study, sponsored by Adobe Systems, EDS, Hewlett-Packard, Nokia and venture capital firm Mayfield, found an opportunity exists for content creators and technology providers to work together to offer improved ways to capture and publish digital content. The study calls the processes and technologies used to create, manage and access digital content “network publishing.”

Network publishing will allow users to access interactive content with a high-quality viewing experience anytime, anywhere, on any Internet-enabled device. Publishers could create digital content once and publish it anywhere; they can integrate multiple digital content workflows for greater efficiency; and they can update information in real-time to keep it current, accurate and reliable. Examples of emerging network publishing products and services include more efficient and focused Internet search engines; cell phones that allow users to take pictures and print directly to a printer; e-book reader devices that allow downloads of travel guides and maps; and Internet-based printing solutions.

Network publishing would allow businesses to gain additional revenue by offering their products on the market more quickly and by increasing efficiency and collaboration among business partners. The workforce inefficiencies that will cost $750 billion in 2001 are based on knowledge workers wasting 15 to 25 percent of their time engaged in nonproductive publishing activities. Resolving these issues will drive the market for network publishing to $250 million by 2004, when it will represent one-fifth of worldwide information technology spending, the survey predicts.

New media companies will be among the first movers in the network publishing market. A.T. Kearney identifies these companies as major multimedia publishers that already have a dominant Internet presence as well as the capability to distribute content among different media streams. The study also expects software vendors to be critical to the network publishing market, specifically content management and caching companies, which are well-positioned to create significant value over the next two to three years, according to the study.

Getting online content, whether it is printed content, transaction information or applications, to end-users has already created a lucrative space for content delivery networks (CDNs). According to International Data Corp. (IDC), the U.S. content distribution market will increase at a compound annual growth rate of 150 percent, from $10 million in 1999 to nearly $1 billion in 2004.

“The business models of all content delivery networks revolve around exploiting the inefficiencies of the Internet as it now exists,” said Melanie Posey, research manager for IDC’s Business Network Services program. “One way content delivery networks exploit Internet congestion is to reduce content commuting time by pulling content out of centralized datacenters and placing it closer to the end user.”

The HTRC Group, LLC estimates the worldwide CDN product market will grow from $122 million in 2000 to an estimated $1.4 billion by 2004.

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