Dominated by the digital transformation

Dr Hauke Berndt, managingd director, ppi Media
Dr Hauke Berndt, managingd director, ppi Media

Once again, international representatives of the publishing industry met at ppi Media’s Open Days in Kiel on 4 and 5 June 2018, to discuss current trends in the publishing industry. This year’s event was characterized by a range of dedicated presentations dealing with the topic of digitization and exploring what established publishing companies can learn from start-ups.

Many of the presentations focused on the question of how large- and medium-sized companies can meet the challenges posed by digitization through purposeful investments and by using start-up methods. Experienced and successful experts like Philipp Depiereux, founder and chief executive officer of digital consulting agency etventure, and business angel Alexander Eck, highlighted different aspects of this topic. CEO Jan Kasten and the two heads of ppi’s business innovation department, Corinna Coverly and Manuel Scheyda, also gave insights into the digitization processes at ppi Media itself, and shared success stories about new digital solutions which have been developed in cooperation with partners and customers over the last two years.

ppi solutions in action
Next to hearing about various topics surrounding the digital transformation, guests at ppi’s Open Days also had the opportunity to find out more about how some of ppi’s solutions are used in practice. For example, Katrin Hube and Nico Augustin spoke about the use of the new self-service ad portal AdSelf at the regional media house VRM (Allgemeine Zeitung, Darmstädter Echo, etc.). AdSelf is a completely new solution that has been developed in just nine months, followed by a successful go-live at the media house. The browser-based solution enables readers to conveniently book ads in the publications of a publisher, also using mobile devices if they prefer.

NA Mahamed Ismail
NA Mahamed Ismail

The editorial system Content-X also featured at the Open Days. The Indian journalist NA Mahamed Ismail outlined the successful introduction of Content-X at the large publishing house, The Printers Mysore. In the run-up to the ppi Days, two further media companies, including the Nürnberger Presse publishing house, had decided to use the editorial system by ppi Media and Digital Collections.

The presentations at ppi’s Open Days were followed by further workshops on solutions such as AdSelf and Content-X; they were attended by roughly a third of the participants who used them as a chance for intensive discussions.

Towards a successful future
“Despite the power failure at Hamburg Airport and the resulting delays and lengthy journeys for some attendants, we once again enjoyed two very inspirational days with interesting presentations and lively discussions about new business models and solutions.” According to Dr. Hauke Berndt, managing director and chief operating officer of ppi Media, the option to produce based on templates alone attracted great interest and led to an extremely well-attended workshop on Content-X. “For us, the ppi Open Days are always a very special event as it offers us unique opportunities for face-to-face conversations with our customers.” The ppi Open Days 2019 are expected to take place on 20-21 May 2019.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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– Naresh Khanna

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