Newsletter 4
October 2010

In 15 days, the third edition of the Forum d'Avignon... The minister of Culture and Communication Frédéric Mitterrand will present on several occasions during the two days of the Forum d'Avignon perspectives on issues at the heart of the debates of this thirs edition. He will conclude the 2010 Forum d'Avignon on the 6th of November along with Androulla Vassiliou, European commissioner in charge of Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth.

In this newsletter: the bilingual publication of the Acts of the previous edition of the Forum d’Avignon by the Editions GALLIMARD with drawings byPlantu, the presentation of the 2010 study "Publishing in the digital era" by Bain & CO,  exclusive interviews by Françoise Benhamou (economist)and Georges Sanerot (BAYARD), but also the program and speakers and the Special high speed train. .

The Acts of the Forum d'Avignon 2009 available on October the 28th by the Editions Gallimard

Around the theme "Cultural Strategies for a New World", the second edition of the international meetings of the Forum of Avignon was an opportunity to exchange in-depth and lively, and take position on major issues. To extend and open discussions on topics such as innovation, the cultural attractiveness of the territories or cultural tax strategies, the Editions Gallimard and the Forum d’Avignon invite you to discover or rediscover the interventions of major players in the fields of culture, economy and the media, including Frederic Mitterrand, Jean-Jacques Annaud, Irina Bokova, Lawrence Lessig but also Amit Khanna, Jean-Bernard Levy, Richard David Precht or Marjane Satrapi.

To order the Acts of the 2009 Forum d’Avignon, click here.

This month : Printing in the digital era - Bain & CO for the Forum d'Avignon

• Printing in the digital era

What is the role of eBooks on reading practices? Will the eBook encourage a long-extended time of reading rather that a fragmented one? What are the impacts of eReaders on behaviors: reading, purchase, conservation? Are we going toward a disposable or ‘fragmented’ culture? Will e-readers and tablets increase the proportion of « big » readers or in the contrary favor occasional reading? Is the eBook introducing a new dependence to manufacturers? Could the shift from printed to new digital terminals potentially be value-creating for the cultural and media-related ecosystems? Is it going to foster the development of a new relationship between consumers and printed media, notably through new perceptions of the different types of content and writing, online payments, book clubs and networking practices?

• Presentation of the study Bain & CO

Will e-readers and tablets change the book ecosystem forever? Bain & Company surveyed 3000 consumers in three continents to assess the impact of new digital platforms on reading behavior.
 The results suggest that more than 20% of book sales could be digital by 2015 in select markets, capturing up to 25% of the overall value pool generated by the publishing industry. The impact is significant along the entire value chain, challenging historical pricing policies, as well as relationships between retailers, publishers and authors.
 One issue emerges as most critical: merely translating existing content will not generate sustainable value. Experimenting with new formats, for example non-linear, social, is where the opportunity lies.

The study will be available online on November 2010. Until then, discover a webography on this theme.

The interviews

The interview of Françoise Benhamou

Françoise Benhamou is a University Professor and Vice President of the University Paris 13. Member of the Editorial Board of the review “Esprit”, the Advisory Board of the National Center of Variety, the Advisory Council of ARTE programs, the Advisory Board of the Jean Jaurès Fondation, she also works as an expert for the UNESCO, the Circle of Economists and the Scientific Council of the National Institute for Heritage. She is a chronicler for France Culture.

How does the digital book modify the relationship to the reader for the writer, the publisher, the supplier?

Françoise Benhamou:

The digital book is hybrid, still not well identified. It can be read on different devices, computer, reader, telephone, games console. The way it changes the relationship to the reader is unclear, even in countries like the U.S. and Japan, where it represents a significant part of the book market (around 5 to 10% of the market). The traditional divisions between writing, editing, prescription, reading are changing; the reader is prescribing for his virtual "friends", within communities, or through its purchases and how they are re-used by retail sites. The author may choose to interact with the reader; the book can be enriched with features that turn reading into a set of disparate uses. As for the distribution function, it evolves on the one hand because of the arrival of new entrants (from the computer world and telecom), and secondly through the disappearance of certain costs (transportation) and emergence of new skills: comparable to the distributor of the paper world, the aggregator is a computer server that collects the files on the warehouse, books and secure it.

Under what conditions could the digital book create value?

Françoise Benhamou:

The digital destroys value in traditional sectors and recreates it in the same sectors but also their surrounding: access providers, telephone operators, search engines will get back a portion of the value related to creation. The question then is the one of value and its ownership. The price is a key variable; it must be high enough so that the author, publisher, industries can be paid, and low enough so that the reader is encouraged to buy. The traditional model of single buying, as practiced by many retailers, will coexist with subscription models, streaming, purchase by chapters, etc.. The publisher must retain some control on prices to avoid dumping practices such as the one which characterized the market at its beginning. As for the sharing of value, several models are possible. In the case of a direct sale from the publisher to the user, there is a 50/50 split with the author; if the dealer performs the transaction with the end customer, the publisher gives him 25% to 30%, but 50% on some offers (subscription and streaming). If an intermediary is responsible for guiding the end user on the platform of the editor, it takes 15% or more depending on the service (Google Edition negotiates with publishers a 50/50 split). If the platform belongs to the editor, but works with booksellers, it lets 25% of the sales’ revenue to the bookseller. Other possibilities are tested, showing that the market is still experimental. It is to establish a sustainable model that does not put too many players of the “market of yesterday” aside, knowing that the world of paper books is far from having laid down its arms.

The interview of Georges Sanerot

Georges Sanerot currently is Chairman of the Board of Bayard since June 2009. He previously was founder and manager of the WSA Institute (1975-1994), Director of Bayard Jeunesse (1994-2004) and Managing Director of the group Bayard, Member of the Board since 2005. 

Georges Sanerot :

As a publisher, especially in the field of children’s literature, we are considering very carefully the changes resulting from digital technologies and the new practices they provoke.

We are in a transitional period. The works that arise on the web today are mostly digital versions of works designed for paper. They are not, strictly speaking, digital works, i.e. works adapted to the specificity of digital media. Each support generates different types of works. With the invention of printing was born and developed the novel, the kind that we read silently and individually with the utmost respect for the will of the author. Digital technologies impose and will impose other rules, other ways to interact with creators and the chain of creation as we know it may be deeply upset. So it is by default or by analogy, as it has been done at the beginning of radio with theatre, that we can talk about digital books. The reality will probably be more surprising and also, perhaps, less worrisome for the future of paper books which do not seem in jeopardy.

Who will be tomorrow the developer and seller of these new works? Bookstores play and have played a decisive role in educating readers. They are able to arrange with publishers the managing of the flows of new releases and especially to make choices, to promote and assist in the emergence of paper books. Will they still do it in a digital era? It is not clear in so far as what will become the notion of property in a digital world is still unsure. Are we going to acquire immaterial objects, uses, loans...?

Bookstores, but also publishers, are not necessarily ready to deal today with uses as subscriptions for instance. Libraries are more and forms of subscriptions to an “aggregate” of contents near to books or books’ aggregate are emerging here and there. This refers to the question of value and the ability to create an economically viable value chain. Yet the book is linked to the ownership of the object. It is around the paper books that value and price are created. When the object disappears, the ability to stage the value has to be reinvented and hence the price, in a different way. This editorial and marketing fantasy that can be at the origin of a value chain which remains difficult to apprehend today.

In exclusivity, discover the highlights of the program of the 2010 edition of the Forum d'Avignon

A graduate of the Ecole Polytechnique, the ENSAE, the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris and the ENA, Alain Seban currently is President of the national Museum for Modern Art Georges Pompidou (France).

Thursday the 4th of November 2010

3pm Meeting of the participants in Paris Gare de Lyon
7.15pm Cocktail at the Avignon Townhall – Performance by Barthélémy Toguo
8.45pm Dinner at the Palais des Papes

Friday the 5th of November 2010

8.30 am Welcoming of the participants in the Congress Center of the Palais des Papes
9.00am – 12.40 pm More accessibility, new usage in a digital era: culture for everyone?
12.40 pm – 2.30 pm Lunch
2.30 pm Concert by Playing for Change, hosted by Vivendi
3.00 pm – 5.15 pm Plenary session; Debate with all the attendees: Moving from free to pay: Are the pieces finally coming together for M&E companies?
5.15 pm -  8.00 pm  As one chooses:
‒    6.00– 8.15 pm Debate at the University of Avignon: Cultural attractiveness and economic performance:  what jobs, what strategies for the development of territories ?
‒    6.00 – 8 pm Visit of the exhibition “Terra-mare Miquel Barcelo” – at the Collection Lambert in the presence of the artist
‒    6.00 – 8.00 pm Visit of the Palais des Papes
8. 45 pm Dinner ‘Chefs of the region’ at the Palais des Papes, Grand Tinel

Saturday the 6th of November 2010

9.00 am – 10.00 am The Lab of the Forum d’Avignon
10.20 am – 12.10 pm Session: The digital book: toward a value-creating model
12.10 pm– 12.30 pm Works and perspectives of the Forum d’Avignon
12.30 pm – 2.00 pm Lunch
2.00    pm – 2.30 pm Plantu sketches the Forum d’Avignon
2.30 pm – 4.00 pm Session, Medias and telecommunications: How will the digital group of the future be created? 
4.00 pm  Plea of the Forum d’Avignon : Investing in Culture
5.49 pm Return trip in the dedicated high-speed train Paris-Avignon

Among the attendees:

Souleymane Cissé, Film director,Philippe Dauman, President of Viacom, David Drummond, Senior Vice-President Corporate development and CLO Google, Gloria Friedmann, artist, Nathalie Kosciusko Morizet, State Secretary in charge of prospection and the Development of the Digital Economy, Christine Lagarde, Minister of Economy, Industry and Employment, Maurice Lévy, President of Publicis, Jean-Bernard Lévy, Chairman of the Board, Vivendi, Neelie Kroes, VP Digital Strategu, European Commission, Frédéric Mitterrand, Minister of  Culture and Communication, Hartmut Ostrowski, Chairman of the Board Bertelsmann, Aton Soumache, President Method animation & Onyx Films, Barthélémy Toguo, artist, Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner in charge of Education, culture, multilingualism and youth…

The special high speed train of the Forum d'Avignon
By taking care of the official transportation of Forum d’Avignon participants, SNCF renews for the third time its cultural partnership. According to participants who have already taken this dedicated TGV in 2008 and 2009, this trip is a key moment of the forum: because it is in the TGV, during the journey, both outward and back, that ties are established, that discussions open or extend. The suspended travel time, the warm atmosphere of the train, everything is conducive to the meeting of the three worlds of culture, economy and media.This travel time also represents the best time to reading. Guests aboard the train will have at their disposal the 2009 activity report of the group and the journal « Avancées » highlighting the innovations and researches. SNCF Research mobilizes scientific skills and a high level of expertise on projects conducted by 120 researchers. Their development is ensured by different engineering teams, dedicated to rolling stock, infrastructure or information systems. Synergy, interaction, expertise allow a better preparation of the future. There is a SNCF network of research and innovations station dedicated to researchers, employees and their partners, but also to all those involved and interested in topics and research related to rail trains. This platform allows the exchange of knowledge, the sharing of experiences, interactivity.

To know more about the special high speed train, click here.

Keep updated on the Forum d'Avignon online

Before, during and after the Forum, discover the videos, studies and news of the Forum d’Avignon on the website:

The full program of the 2010 edition, as well as the exclusive studies prepared by international consulting firms for the Forum d’Avignon, will be online on the 4th of November 2010.

The first videos of the 2010 edition of the Forum d’Avignon will be online on the 6th of November.



The Forum d’Avignon on the Internet : 2009 studies and acts available online, videos, photos, press review, …
• Stay informed on the new website : follow up all the news.
• Watch the 2008 and 2009 videos on the website and on YouTube.
• Contribute to the Wikipedia webpage
• The partners of the Forum d'Avignon

For more information, contact us :