Australian Newsagency Blog

A blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally.

PBL and Optus get together in major convergence strategy

Mark Fletcher
June 22nd, 2005 · No Comments

The new relationship between PBL and Optus was all over the Australian and international business press yesterday. This is a very significant move for PBL and the Australian media landscape generally. The deal pushes convergence strategies in this country to a new level. Watch for others to follow quickly.

Optus provides PBL with a new supply chain through which to deliver its key brands: television programs and magazines. PBL provides Optus with valuable content.

Put this deal together with faster access from new cable technology and with the new multimedia handsets about to hit the market and you can soon see the value.

Once it starts delivering content, the Optus/PBL relationship will put PBL in a box seat way beyond its traditional television and magazine properties. Whereas today a story is on the cover of Woman’s Day and it’s on the shelf for a week, through this new alliance the store becomes the focus rather than the aggregated product (the magazine). With devices consumers enjoy using offering access to a video version of the store and Optus providing fast and easy access, I can imagine consumers buying stories rather then or maybe in addition to existing print product.

I reckon that for a few cents I will be able to buy a story through my new sexy phone and that as the story evolves, for the next few days, I will receive the updates without cost.

For PBL they get to a new marketplace full of early adopters and can manage the impact on their physical product. Good leadership.

People often tell me that consumers like the ease and flexibility of access to magazines and newspapers. I don’t disagree. However, as more devices come out with great interfaces, consumer attitudes will change. An this is why the convergence strategy of Optus/PBL is fascinating and timely.

Beware! Here’s my cracked record comment. The traditional news and information supply chain (newsagents) needs to develop its own strategies for changing consumer desires and the changing technology playing field.


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