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Electronic publishing - multimedia consumer periodicals

Objective

To prepare for multimedia consumer periodical publishing pilots based on the creative, technical and business expertise and experience in the publishing and supplier industries. The project seeks to build upon the publishing partners own prototyping projects to establish development, production and business guidelines for successful multimedia consumer periodical publishing. The guidelines will be developed in a manner so as to allow them to be improved in future pilot projects, the intention being that they can become a sound common basis for the industry A cluster of projects will be designed that maximises the benefits of piloting for the industry while addressing the most significant of the R&D themes.

Consumer magazine publishing is a major and influential part of the publishing industry and one where the potential for transition into successful multimedia publishing appears to be high. This functions because magazines offer what people want and there is a well-established model for publishing, distributing, choosing, and using magazines. The FAMPUB project sets out to establish the 'rule-of-the-game' for publishing multimedia consumer periodicals and to plan a cluster of projects that will enable publishers to make regular multimedia products attractive to users and to advertisers. Among the FAMPUB partners are four major European periodical publishers and a consumer electronics company.

The 'rules-of-the-game' for electronic publishing resulting from the project concern the development guidelines (for marketing and product design);
the production guidelines (for the process of preparing and publishing the periodical product regularly);
the business guidelines (how the publication of multimedia consumer periodicals can be organised to bring sufficient profit to all players in the information value chain to make it a sustainable business).

To pave the way for substantial investment in innovative periodical publishing, market research is required and there are technical and business barriers to be overcome. These concern information engineering themes including: skills development, quality of design and authoring tools, integration of media, methods for evaluation of usability, infrastructure for exploitation of IPR, management and reuse of multimedia assets, standardisation (de facto) of formats and platforms, and distribution channels whether off-line or networked. During the feasibility stage, these will be prioritised according to which are considered most important to overcoming the technical, business, societal (e.g. legal) barriers to the periodical publisher's successful transition into multimedia publishing.

The cluster will be planned to multimedia consumer periodicals and will be designed to address publishers' quantitative market research needs;
to provide a framework for working with appropriate organisations and suppliers on a publication-driven approach to the prioritised information engineering aspects;
to validate and improve the guidelines in practice.

The publisher partners in the FAMPUB consortium are individually starting their own projects to design and prototype new media periodicals. The FAMPUB Feasibility Project will achieve its goals by adding value to the publishers' own projects by co-ordinating and structuring the issues they address, ensuring that they bring together the creative, technical, and business aspects and by evaluating objectively their different approaches to concrete problems (such as inclusion of advertising). In addition to the partner publishers, participation in cluster projects will be discussed with other players (publishers, multimedia producers, advertisers, distributors, legal and business support, etc.). The publishers' and consumer electronics partner's market information on information desires and installed base will be the basis for defining the pilot user group. Bringing together and analysing the experiences of the partner publishers will:
accelerate their progress up the learning curve;
enable the joint definition of a cluster to address the priority issues;
provide a sound basis for guidelines applicable across Europe.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

International Electronic Publishing Research Centre (IEPRC)
Address
Randalls Road
KT22 7RY Leatherhead
United Kingdom

Participants (6)

Ediciones Primera Plan SA
Spain
Gruner & Jahr Informationssysteme GmbH
Germany
PIRA International
United Kingdom
Address
Randalls Road
KT22 7RU Leatherhead
Philips Media
Netherlands
The Bonnier Group
Sweden
VNU Tijdschriftengroep bv
Netherlands