Packt publishing plans to double themselves within the next three years.
This is a part of the Livery Street based online publishing firm’s plan to confront online privacy issues.

David Maclean is running the online publishing firm
David Maclean is running the online publishing firm

The firm has already doubled in expanding its staff in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter within the past two years, and being a multi-national firm, it has three hundred and sixty staff in Mumbai, on the back of swelling demand.

Packt publishing produces e-books and video tutorials on recent software which sells nearly worldwide.

David Maclean, Packt Publishing’s chief executive, said he wanted the company to become subscription based – similar to Netflix or Spotify in alternative markets – to boost growth by improving their service and fending it from a rising tide of pirates.

He said, “We have probably doubled the size of the company in the last two years and in the next three years we want to do the same again. That is our projected rate of growth.
The initial driver is there is more and more software, which drives more and more titles, which draws more and more revenue. It has been a fairly simple circle.
But the way we have slightly added to the circle is to say we want to move people from buying individual books to a subscription model.
Essentially, we are trying to go from being in the video sales business to a Netflix-style offering. We are saying to people pay by the month and you get all 2,500 of our titles and the 700 new ones we publish in a year.”

The company published its first book in 2004 and has since become one of the world’s most prolific publishers of its kind, creating up to one hundred e-books in a month – while some competitors create fewer than that each year.
The company’s customer base is global but the Middle East and Nordic countries are notable stronger.

Unlike the traditional publishing model, Packt identifies subject matter itself and locates experts to write its guides.

A major factor of the Birmingham operation is finding software issues which are becoming more widespread, regularly using Google Trends, to authorise a market.

Mr Maclean said he did not have copyright protection on his products because that would mean pirates would have had greater freedom than the customers.

The Mumbai team scour the world for copied versions of e-books and fire out cease notices.
Although David understands that online piracy is a difficult task to manage.

The new business-to-business service is aiming to make Packt so simple to use that even the pirates use it.

Mr Maclean said: “The idea is it is actually easier for the people who both used to steal our content and buy one-offs. Your service has got to bring everybody to the party. If you look at Spotify or Netflix, what they have done is even for people who illegally copy music they have made it easier to use them.”

Packt is also investing heavily on video to aid its roll into its new subscription platform.

David Maclean finished by saying: “Three or five years down the road, we want to be a predominantly subscription business rather than an individual transaction business.
That is a big part of why we have expanded the headcount in Birmingham. That is a big software development investment and it is a more complex business in a way, so we have hired in new senior managers with experience in product management and marketing to give us that capability.
The second thing we have added in is video. As well as offering people a chance to learn through text, they can learn by showing them on screen cast video. The distribution channels are different – there is no Amazon in video – we are looking for partners but they are smaller and more fragmented businesses.”

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