RR Donnelley scales up digital and personalisation services through acquisition

By David Ward, San Diego, Thursday 18 August 2011

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Chicago-based RR Donnelley this week acquired Sequence Personal, a maker of proprietary software that enables users to customize content that can then be produced as a specialized print magazine, online or mobile publication.

In a separate deal the company also acquired LibreDigital which offers services for the digitisation of content for electronic devices as well as data analytics, business intelligence and distribution services.

CEO and president Thomas J. Quinlan III, said: "With services constituting more than 10% of our revenue, robust digital content creation and distribution resources, and capabilities that span the breadth of the supply chain, RR Donnelley has completely transcended the role of an ink-on-paper provider. This acquisition enhances our capabilities as a provider of integrated communications solutions."

New York-based Sequence began in 2009 in the customized medical journals space, providing advertisers with a way to target readers with messages tailored to their user profile.

It quickly expanded to offer all types of content providers a turnkey solution for not only layout, production and printing, but also on-the-fly insertion of relevant advertising based, for example, on a user's content selection.

Sequence will now become part of RR Donnelley's CustomPoint Solutions Group, and in a statement, RR Donnelley COO John Paloian said, "The ability to deliver targeted content is attractive to readers, advertisers, publishers and other RR Donnelley customers across virtually every segment that we serve."

The Sequence acquisition puts RR Donnelley in direct competition with HP and its MagCloud.  Launched in 2009, MagCloud enables uses to select content and then, with a few mouse clicks, produce a professional quality printed magazine from a PDF format using HP's Indigo technology. HP this month added a new format, MagCloud Digest, which at 5.5 inches by 8.5 inches, provides a bit more flexibility for glossy magazines and catalogs.

HP also has a MagCloud online magazine rack, where consumers can order the latest issue of their favorite magazine and then have it either printed on demand of downloaded to a digital device.

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