Posted by Chris Hering, Industry Manager, Media and Publishing, NetSuite

There’s no question that publishers and advertisers are confronting challenges like never before. For publishers, ecommerce has completely transformed the distribution model with Amazon now in an all-out war with Hachette Book Group. At the same time pure-play digital publishers are keen to optimize their ad revenue in innovative ways and stay on-top of any pricing trend they can turn to their advantage.

These changes and challengers and preparation for whatever new challenges the future may hold were the central focus of the Advertising, Media and Publishing track at SuiteWorld 2014. For example, publishers competing with a flood of competitors are increasingly turning to automated order management to help operate as efficiently as possible. Automating and streamlining back-office order management processes can help speed delivery times and cut costs.

Likewise, ecommerce is a discipline that no publisher can ignore as consumers now buy books, magazines, newspapers, movies and audio online. One book sales statistic that illustrates this rapid growth: In 2012, online sales of book made up 44 percent of consumer book sales, up from 39 percent the year before, according to Bowker Market Research. In addition, digital books, or e-books, have also surged as consumers rapidly adopt tablets and e-readers such as Amazon's Kindle.

Publishers who attended "Using Ecommerce to Increase Revenue and Engagement in Media and Publishing Companies" learned how to use SuiteCommerce to generate new revenue streams and increase internal efficiencies, as well as handle digital content delivery and online merchandising.

Publishing firms at the event learned how to add new metrics to the traditional metrics they’ve tracked to gain a full picture of their business performance. Some of the new metrics, CPM, CPX, can be complex to monitor but for a digital era the right set is important to provide business executives with a true picture of their operations. Using NetSuite’s alerts and KPI searches on critical metrics are useful, time-saving tools for staying on top of the numbers.

Media companies at the show learned how to leverage NetSuite’s Billing engine to optimize their subscription revenues by automating the billing and by creating new and different billing packages—such as open-ended monthly subscriptions, bundled offers of digital and print subscriptions in one, and ongoing membership fees for access to a wider array of content.

Subscription revenues are highly valued by investor markets, and a combination of a little creativity and the advanced NetSuite billing engine can quickly create new cash flows. Publishers and media outlets are looking for more ways to leverage content and optimize revenue. They know multiple revenue sources will be increasingly critical today and in the future as content and media channels become more diverse.