Case study: Digital Success of Dutch Printer

With a history of well over 130 years, Senefelder are a leading specialist in the field of cross-media and one of Holland’s best-established printers.

Catering to companies across the entire publishing chain, they work alongside publishers, government, B2C magazines, profit/non-profit organizations; offering a portfolio of print and design services.

Jean – Paul Reparon is General Manager, and has led the company’s transition to digital publishing, using YUDU technology since 2010. Certain clients have reported up to 800,000 downloads of their apps and many others are now using YUDU technology to distribute content to tablets, desktop and smartphones.

This interview with Jean – Paul explores some of the reasons behind the success of the digital transition, and gives insights and lessons in the realm of digital publishing.

1. Why did Senefelder establish a partnership with a digital vendor?

JP: Senefelder are believers in the “blue ocean” strategy and apply this across our business. In marketing terms, this means creating added value for customers besides our core business. Rather than following other printers, where the USP is price; we decided to expand our product offering into new areas.

2. What was it about YUDU that appealed to you above other vendors?

JP: Initially we were talking to a number of vendors who use a combination of PDF, Web content and InDesign for their digital conversions. Since most of our clients provide us with PDFs, this seemed like the best route, and a good foundation for digital publishing. Other digital publishing options, which used InDesign files at the core, seemed more complicated and the PDF conversion fitted ideally in our workflow.

Working with YUDU has helped us stay ahead of the competition; as YUDU works in the US/UK they are quicker than local vendors to deploy new solutions. For example, we were the first printer in Holland to offer an Android app solution.

3. In your opinion, how has digital publishing, affected the market for print publishing?

JP: In the Netherlands, the market for print publishing is definitely under pressure; quite simply the volume of requests for print is decreasing. As a result, we need to adapt new kinds of technologies. I think that digital is a threat to print. However, the business model for print is actually better for many people. For example, print advertising generates more revenue in the publishing space than digital advertising. You can pay a few thousand Euros for an advertising space in a print publication, compared to a few euros per thousand views for digital publications. Print won’t disappear though; it is here to stay.

4. Do you see print-digital partnerships becoming increasingly important in the future?

JP: Printers have to move forward. If they won’t change their core business strategy, they will stay in, what is known as, the “red ocean”. The result of this, would be a number of printers delivering the same product with the only USP being price.

Printers must come out of that “red ocean” and enter the digital area to create added value and a portfolio of products, so yes, I see this type of partnership becoming more popular. I feel at Senefelder we still have a key advantage because, as an early adopter, we have more experience.

5. In what ways has YUDU helped to leverage your brand value through its product/service portfolio?

JP: YUDU has helped us create the idea of added value for our clients. We are able to add value on the YUDU platform as we can advise our clients, create the assets and help them out with adding rich media/interactive content. This means we wear lots of hats – from printer to a facilitator of content creation, to a digital publisher, all because of what we can offer. We even offer advice about business models. YUDU’s high-level of support has helped us to achieve this knowledge.

6. What are the pros and cons of digital publishing?

JP: Digital publishing offers more value to readers. You can read anytime and anywhere, regardless of the format (app-based, HTML etc.). People’s reading choices differ depending on the time of day, e.g. they might read digital publications on a desktop during the day but have a “slow read” on a tablet, during the evenings.

7. Do you think that digital publishing will eventually overtake print publishing?

JP: Both channels have their own strengths and weaknesses, for example in the evening I like to read print lying-down, but I would use my mobile to catch up on the news during the day. Each type of content delivery has its own advantages. There is great synergy between print and digital in this sense, so it’s an opportunity to combine both, rather than simply assessing how digital sales might cannibalize print sales.

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