Executive Summary:

The CEO of one of the largest publishers of Science, Technology and Medical literature asked us to build a digital business that eventually became the dominant part of the company.

Business Problem:

Customers of the company were dissatisfied due to the mismatch between price and value delivered, but they needed the product anyway. There was a clear sense of opportunity around having digital information at the researcher fingertips. At the same time the executive team understood the big risks associated with driving innovation without caring for core business or having the innovation eat away at the core business without replacing and growing revenues and margins.

Many key risks were perceived, such as unbundling of the product and triggering accelerated price erosion. Propagating illegal copying which would erode subscription base.

Business Opportunity:

Re-invigorating the relationships with the clients by giving them more value, and a more powerful product platform. Increasing the revenue, while at the same time rebalancing the price/value perception. Increasing the exposure of content to readers by using user and usage based pricing models and regaining lost clients, as well as opening up whole new markets.


We developed an electronic test version, set up a test market to develop pricing, licensing and sales methodology for electronic and traditional product. We built large customer information systems to harness critical information about clients that drive the sales and licensing process. We built technology platforms to deliver content at scale and with best-in-the industry technical performance and user experience. We migrated the value metric from fixed subscription prices to licensing parameters driven by users and usage.

Benefits, Goals and Measurement Criteria:

We migrated 72% of the client base worldwide to electronic solutions, growing the overall business at about double the market rate of growth and secured a $750M digital licensing portfolio. We increased circulation /usage in segments of the market that had lost access in the past and made major accessibility deals with governments in China, Japan, Brazil, Mexico, the U.K. and the Netherlands.

We maintained top and bottom line growth consistently during the transformation and have grown significantly in market share of library dollars spent.

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