Trendspotting - the information industry 2011

The information industry will focus on 'mobile' and 'social' in 2011.

Outsell produces an annual report that predicts how the information industry will fare in the year ahead.

The title, Looking for revenue in all the right places, reflects Outsell's view that the companies that developed great digital experiences for their customers in 2010 will be focusing on maximising revenue in 2011 - from established and new audiences.

Outsell predicts that the information industry will grow by 2% in aggregate in 2011.  However some segments will be more buoyant, for example healthcare information, market research and government information.  In B2B markets, lead generation will be a strong revenue driver, while companies with strong search or social components will continue to grow. 

Key trends

New technologies will have an impact on information products and their use.  Increased adoption of HTML5 will enable the creation of visually attractive and engaging content while APIs will enable more client customisation.  There will be a continued growth in the demand for mobile access to resources. 

The opening up of emerging markets will offer providers the potential for growth that established markets cannot - although they may also provide challenges.  Movement into these new geographic markets may require partners and joint ventures. 

The increased amount of open data will provide opportunities for new content creation.  More crowdsourcing techniques will be used to conduct consumer research and create and evolve products and consumers will demand more conversations and collaboration with providers.   There will be a growing demand for data analysis and customised products.


Outsell concludes with some action points for the information industry in the year ahead.  Publishers must:

  • Move beyond the 'product' mentality to focus on platforms.
  • Refine products in real time
  • Focus on mobile and social
  • Use crowdsourcing techniques to create and enhance content
  • Create content that can help clients manage risk, or make/save money
  • Encourage innovation and be open to all new tools and techniques that might bring new opportunities
  • Explore new markets

Meanwhile on Information Today's main US site, Paula Hane reflects on 2010 and identifies trends to watch in 2011.

She too highlights the rapid growth in the adoption of the iPad and tablet devices as a key driver of change in the industry.   Consumers will demand increased interactivity of products such as ebooks and there will be further developments in touch screen technology.  Her article also links to a range of thought pieces about key trends and drivers for change in the next 12 months.

As Paula says, one certainty for 2011 is 'it will not be dull'!

Photo courtesy of Katerha, via Flickr