Thought provoking scan of the current and potential future state of the UK market.
The public library market is worth £20m annually, 4 vendors have 80% of the business.
In HE 4 vendors have 87% of the market (Ex-Libris, Talis & SirsiDynix have 23% each, Innovative 18%)
These figures indicate an mature market. A potential new player in the public sector is Civica, while OCLC now own a significant number of for-profit companies.
The emergence of Private Equity Partners in the market could have significant effects. As a rule of thumb, PEPs look for companies that will offer growth within 5 years looking for opportunities in acquisition, new geographies/sectors, and new technology driven opportunities. [We've seen this in the library market - LC] Typically they will own a company for 5-7 years.
The public library sector is under pressure to look towards integration to provide savings e.g. Leeds saving £10k/year by integrating e-invoicing and finance systems.
As well as PEPs companies such as Google, AbeBooks, Amazon and LibraryThing are now offering services which compete with libraries.
An example of how books might change The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom which is a freely available PDF where comment and related material is collated into a wiki.