Random House Builds Digital Capabilities: Acquires Smashing Ideas

As reported by eBookNewser, and others, this week Random House acquired digital media development firm Smashing Ideas.

Looking around the rest of the publishing industry, most of the other big six are connected to larger digital entities in some way. Simon & Schuster to CBS Interactive. Hyperion to ABC Digital and Disney Digital Books. Harper Collins to News Corp Digital Media.

My first set of questions surrounds what is the real relationship that these publishing house have with these digital resources? Weekly calls? Monthly meetings? Do the digital media employees at publishing houses have a concrete connection to these other resources? For strategic planning? For consulting work? Market analysis?

Recently Hyperion released the “eBook only” version of “A Modern Fairy Tale” and ABC News released a video enhanced version of the same material. It is a strategic advantage to have a simultaneous, but separate release? How did the two companies work together? How could they work together better?

My second set of questions surround, would it be more advantageous for these publishing houses (or their parent companies!) to acquire some digital publishing start ups? Vook? Ruckus Media? Open Road? Auryn Inc.? Moving Tales, Inc.? Loud Crow Interactive? (Note, this is a long, long list…)

Most of these potential acquisition targets are run by former publishing industry leaders. Why would they want to rejoin the bureaucracy they successfully already left? Or what, besides an exit, would digital media entrepreneurs gain?

Lots of questions to think about…

More on Smashing Ideas:

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