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Forces Shaping the Electronic Publishing Industry of the 1990s

Donald T. Hawkins (Distinguished member of technical staff at AT&T Bell Laboratories)
Frank J. Smith (Manager, implementation engineering at AT&T Network Service Division)
Bruce C. Dietlein (General manager of new business development at AT&T Consumer Services,)
Eugene J. Joseph (Technical staff at AT&T Bell Laboratories)
Robert D. Rindfuss (Supervisor at AT&T Bell Laboratories)

Internet Research

ISSN: 1066-2243

Article publication date: 1 April 1992



Results of an in‐depth study of the electronic publishing (EP) industry, with particular emphasis on the consumer marketplace, are presented. EP was defined as the use of electronic media to deliver information to users in electronic form or from electronic sources. EP is contrasted to electronic‐aided publishing, which is the use of electronic means to format and produce a conventional information product. An “information chain” model of the information flows between publishers (or producers) and users was helpful in understanding the boundaries of EP and defining its markets. Following a review of the conventional publishing industry, a model of the forces driving the EP industry was derived. Although technology is the strongest driving force, it is by no means the only one; the others are economics, demographics, social trends, government policies, applications growth, and industry trends. Each of these forces is described in detail in a “cause and effect” scenario, from which keys to success in the EP marketplace are derived. Although there is some turmoil in the industry, with new services continuing to appear and disappear, the overall picture is one of optimism. EP should be a significant part of consumers' lives by the end of the decade.


Hawkins, D.T., Smith, F.J., Dietlein, B.C., Joseph, E.J. and Rindfuss, R.D. (1992), "Forces Shaping the Electronic Publishing Industry of the 1990s", Internet Research, Vol. 2 No. 4, pp. 38-60.




Copyright © 1992, MCB UP Limited

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