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RR Donnelley acquisitions boost products aimed at helping publishers enhance digital presence

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RR Donnelley & Sons Co., a printing services provider that dates back to 1864, has pulled the trigger on several deals this year that will help it transition to the digital age. The acquired companies provide a number of software publishing tools that Donnelley can now offer to publishers to create new online business models.
  • ?In September, Donnelley announced its acquisition of Genesis Packaging & Design, which provides custom packaging, design, printing and assembling services.
  • ?In August, it bought LibreDigital, a provider of digital replicas of publications and e-reading software, and Sequence Personal, whose custom publishing software enables readers to select content to be digitally produced as a specialized publication.
  • ?In March, Donnelley acquired Journalism Online, the company founded and managed by Steven Brill, founder of The American Lawyer and Court TV, and L. Gordon Crovitz, former Wall Street Journal publisher. Journalism Online helps media companies generate subscription revenue from their websites. Its Press+ system enables publishers to offer their audiences a blend of free and subscription-based content.
  • Financial terms were not disclosed for any of those deals. Donnelley is focused “on providing the full suite of digital capabilities to their customers, and a big portion of their customers are publishers, catalog companies and a whole range of media and marketing companies,” said Scott Peters, co-president of Jordan, Edmiston Group, which represented Sequence Personal and Journalism Online in the transactions. “[Donnelley] is not only offering more efficient, cost-saving solutions but new and innovative revenue streams.” Donnelley could not be reached for comment regarding its acquisitions strategy. Sequence Personal, which will become part of Donnelley's CustomPoint Solutions Group, provides strategies for creating editorial content, multichannel marketing, e-subscription models, self-serve direct marketing and custom publishing. “Sequence and RRD will bring significant new revenue and data collection opportunities to the publishing industry, while allowing for personalized content and one-to-one targeted advertising,” Peters said. “The combination of Sequence's highly automated and efficient Anthology platform and RRD's personalized printing capabilities will be a game-changer for publishers and direct marketers.” Peters said that Journalism Online's technology will enable business publishers to control their own destiny online. “The Press+ platform allows publishers to optimize online subscription revenues without sacrificing traffic and online advertising,” he said. “This solution empowers the publisher to control the relationship with their subscribers both online and offline without having to give away or share their subscribers and data with outside vendors.”
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