How can traditional industries use mobile technology and location information to create new value propositions for their customers?

Setting the stage

My wife and I are frequent travelers. She is an architect, so most of our trips include visits to key landmarks on our destinations. Needless is to say that travel guides are an essential part of our journey. One of the main challenges is to carry DK Witness, Frommer’s, Lonely Planet, and Fodor in a backpack the whole day. Kindle and other digital guides are an option. But, as with paper books, the written letter has a drawback. You need to read out loud to the other person and repeatedly alternate your visual attention between the surroundings and the page you are reading from in a continuous “yes movement” of your head.Audiobook travel guide - location information the old way

The location information conundrum

An audiobook will be the perfect solution. All the content we want, read to us, while we’re free to pay attention to what is in front of us. The challenge: How do we reach a particular chapter at a certain time? Perhaps I’m obsessed with finding the best fit for customers. The solution: An audiobook that will provide the right content at the right place and time, all the time.

Transforming the publishing industry – Location Based Content Management

Everything we do happens in context. Each activity occurs at a unique place and time (including sleeping.) Consequently, the interaction with an audio book will be enhanced if the content can be geo-located. If it sounds simple, it’s because it is. But “location” is more than a traveler feature. It connects the content I hear to the surroundings. More importantly, it takes the audible content outside the confined space of my headphones.texting

Having Location Based Digital Rights Management will allow publishers to provide free content at a particular place and time. Imagine having the New Yorker free of charge Saturday mornings around Central Park. Or having a poetry book unlocked Sundays evening at Bryant Park. If we think big, there are some potential effects:

  • Most people will not finish the content there, providing an incentive to purchase the material. This is similar to entering a B&N to browse through the pages of a book and perhaps reading for an hour before purchasing.
  • A large crowd of people will gather to listen to content in one place. This creates a sense of community and social interaction.
  • People without audio books will inquire and become aware of the app. “What is that crowd doing, sitting with headphones and looking into the sky?” somebody will ask. “They are listening to Walt Whitman every Sunday afternoon in the park” another will answer.
  • Who says you can’t have an author signed copy of your audiobook? Same as signing physical books, authors can agree to a picture with those that purchased an audio book copy of their material. Or provide exclusive content at selected locations.
  • And yes, it will provide travelers like my wife and me a better solution, delivering relevant information, at the right place and time, making our trips a better experience thanks to Location Based Content Delivery.

Can you envision a new breed of books? I’d love to listen to excerpts of Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code while walking around Rome. What is your take?