The right approach to document security and DRM gives publishers the ability to add real value to their online content. This allows them to enhance the experience for their readers, and in turn, increase revenue.
To give you an example, software companies add value to their products through extensive customer support and regular updates. While it is easy to obtain software through illegitimate means, doing so prevents the user from having access to these desirable extras. Therefore, users are still willing to pay for the “real thing”.
In the case of publishers, an author’s raw manuscript is given added value through an extensive editorial process and attractive production values (layout, illustrations and so on). Online publishers of electronic documents can create even greater additional value by including features that could not exist in the physical realm, including automatic updates, search engines and links to supplementary data online.
Clearly, online content is not simply a digital version of a physical product – it has a whole unique range of potential value-added content. A well designed approach to DRM will protect this aspect of a document’s content, ensuring that it is only available to authorized users – thereby helping readers feel it is worth paying for the real thing.
This value-added content can also be used to help online publishers with their market research. The interactive nature of online documents can provide benefits to the consumer that simultaneously help publishers earn more about their readers’ preferences. This, in turn, allows content providers to continuously improve their products in line with their customers’ needs.
In general, freely accessible information is fundamentally less reliable than that contained in documents that are copyright protected. Search engines and other online information sources take freely available content, index it and turn it into something usable by the reader. But checks are limited and do not generally extend to fact verification.
For online content creators, a great deal of resources are invested into the editorial process that produces a peer-reviewed, high quality final product. Readers are prepared to pay for this high-value content but they also want the ease of use of that freely available information provides.
With a well thought-out approach to document security that focuses on ease of use, online publishers can provide additional value with their digital content, keep improving that content, and distance themselves from the often inferior content that is freely accessible online.
Interested in reading more? Check out our free white paper: Beyond DRM – 6 steps to great reader experiences.