Magazine article Computers in Libraries

CD-ROM Is Still Rollin' Along: Pass It On!

Magazine article Computers in Libraries

CD-ROM Is Still Rollin' Along: Pass It On!

Article excerpt

In this issue, Margo Jarvis explains the nuts and bolts of how they market CD-ROM and electronic information in North Carolina Libraries--and there's more to market all the time. This is reflected in the recently published Multimedia and CD-ROM Directory 1998, which now lists 28,000 disc titles (a 50 percent increase over last year) and 15,000 companies.

The recent history of this directory parallels current trends in the CD-ROM publishing industry itself. It was published by TFPL for 10 years; but in March 1997, Macmillan acquired TFPL's remaining interest in their TFPL Multimedia joint venture; then in December the Macmillan Directory Division was itself acquired by Wilmington plc, and the directory went to Waterlow Specialist Information Publishing, a subsidiary of the Wilmington Group. Finally came a new imprint, Waterlow New Media Information, launched at the Milia '98 conference. Got that? (If not, send e-mail to enquiries@waterlow.com.)

The current data reflect similar shaking-out and consolidation within the CD-ROM industry. While growth in the number of publishers has historically averaged 50 percent annually, it's now static. In consequence, the average publisher now has 10 titles, up from seven last year and six in 1996--so publishers are fewer, but more successful.

Peter Kibby, managing consultant with TFPL (who still compiles annual statistics from the directory), says: "This confirms what many inside the CD-ROM publishing sector have suspected, but have been shy of saying too loudly in the face of the wave of negative comment in even some trade publications--that there are companies and markets where CD-ROM makes good sense and good business. …

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