‘We are media!’ With these words, Norbert Ohl opened PPI's Open Days in Lübeck on 18 June, 2o012. The software producer's position in the field of cross-media was also reflected in the agenda for this annual event in the printing and publishing industry. National and international senior executives from the publishing industry reported on best practices and new business models for integrated media products.
Success story: interactive print
The introductory presentations by Norbert Ohl and Martin Ruhle, PPI Media's directors, on the company's new and increasingly digital orientation, and the presentation of its new shareholder, the Evers-Frank Group, by its directors, Kay Julius Evers and Dr. Jens Silligmüller, were followed by Sharon Lim, who knew how to convince the 150 participants that the future of the newspaper industry will be digital. The iPad and sales expert from Singapore Press Holdings introduced the iPad app offered by the The Straits Times, a very successful and profitable project in the tablet sector. A total of 135,000 readers use this interactive service every day, and this figure is increasing. However, this app is not only extremely popular with readers, but especially with ad customers who focus on campaigns for luxury goods. It's no surprise, therefore, that Sharon Lim was able to report that from August 2011 until today, The Straits Times achieved a turnover of $5 million with its iPad app.
From Singapore via Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania to Lübeck
Geographically, this jump is much bigger than with regard to content: Lutz Schumacher, CEO of Kurierverlags GmbH, presented a success story in the field of advertising, namely the integrated sales desk for all publishers' publications, whether print, online or mobile. This new organizational structure resulted in several positive developments for the Nordkurier newspaper. According to Schumacher, these include figures that are completely transparent, the creative and targeted development of products, as well as an extremely fast workflow from an idea to a printed or digital magazine.
Uwe Lüders, chairman of the executive board at L Possehl, also paints a positive picture of the newspaper market. At PPI's Open Days, he commented on the Possehl Group's takeover of what is today Manroland Web Systems. He believes that, at present, the newspaper industry in particular is taking a far too pessimistic attitude. Market analysts are demanding digital products and tablets are being hyped, leaving little room for print products. This phase has always been a good time for investment. Therefore, Uwe Lüders sees room for potential over the next 10 - 15 years, especially in the service sector at Manroland Web Systems, which is presently assuming the structure of a medium-sized enterprise.
Print as a basis – digital media as an important supplement
PPI's Open Days 2012 have shown yet again that there is a great deal of potential in the publishing industry: both Valdo Lehri Jr., publisher and CEO of Reutlinger General-Anzeiger and CEO of the printing centre Druckzentrum Neckar-Alb, as well as Thomas Brackvogel, CEO of the Südwest Presse Neue Pressegesellschaft, refuted often repeated hypotheses regarding the extinction of printed news services. On the contrary, they emphasised their advantages: print is strong and helps to shape public opinion. Newspapers are and will always be a form of education and a cultural asset. However, more than ever they need strong partners in online, mobile and tablet media channels in order to reach new target groups and readers, everywhere and at all times. This was also confirmed by Johannes Vogel, CEO of Süddeutsche Zeitung Digitale Medien, in his lecture entitled ‘Think digital!’. The services being offered to today's – and tomorrow's – readers must be available everywhere and at all times. Free contents are supplemented by premium content. It takes the right mixture to be successful. Korbinian Lehner, technology strategy director at Atos IT Solutions and Service, thinks even more digitally, in all areas of life. He took the participants of PPI's Open Days to a day in the year 2020 and, considering the ever-growing network of daily life, social networks and intelligent gadgets, already posed the question in the title of his presentation whether such a vision of the future is a digital heaven or data hell.
What's new at PPI Media
PPI Media has also reflected on the future of the publishing industry and enhanced existing products, as well as introduced new solutions. At its Open Days, the following products were presented in detail: Content-X planner, the AdX iPad app for field media consultants, OM portal, online job management for print customers, as well as the cross-media preflight check, mediaPreflight. PPI Media's support and other services were also presented.
2013: the next PPI Open Days
PPI Media announced that its next Open Days will be held on 10 – 11 June, 2013. Until then, some visitors may think back on Morten Lund, Danish venture capitalist and Skype founder, who held the dinner speech on 18 June, 2012 during PPI's Open Days. Lund outlined how he successfully launched Kazaa and Skype on the market by reacting to the needs of the time and creating solutions that generated added value for millions of users, also reporting, however, on how his newspaper project in Denmark failed.
© Graphic Repro On-line, 25 June 2012.