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Industry Insights: Getting content to your audience & the rise of the platform manager

Apr 07, 2016
Industry Insights

Industry Trend of the Week
Push vs. pull; platforms vs. websites; membership vs. advertising, these are questions facing publishers this week. New thinking is being applied as the struggle continues to engage and monetize audience as digital subscriptions flat line and ad CPMs fall. Publishers are hiring more analysts to better wrangle the flood of data their users are generating, and audience engagement managers who can understand where the audience is and serve the right content on the right platform at the right time. Data and time are the new digital currencies.

Story of the Week
Paid content journey – from dollar shave to fan club
Like the Dollar Shave Club, paid content started with a simple value proposition underpinned by a big upsell. Now though, as digital subscriptions have ceased to grow, publishers are thinking about “fan clubs” to drive subscription revenue while weaning themselves off decreasing advertising CPMs.

The Rise of the Publishing Platform Specialist
A year ago most publications hadn’t considered even pushing their content onto distributed platforms; now many are looking to hire someone to take care of the different platforms under one portfolio – a publishing platform specialist.

3 takeaways about audience engagement from #ONALondon
Audience Engagement Managers from two of the most digitally progressive publishers, The FT and The Guardian, speak about the different platforms and methods they use to capture and engage their respective audiences.

Chat apps: The unlikeliest of news delivery channels
Push notifications are becoming another method to distribute content as publishers seek to place content where their audience is rather than trying to lead the audience back to their platforms. Even SMS, the original chat app, is seeing a rise in use as publishers endeavor to stay in front of their users.

Spain’s El Diario finds success with unique business model
El Dario is running a unique “partner” program that allows paying users access to published news earlier than regular readers plus ad-free page views, discounts on purchases and invitations to events. The website relies on quality journalism to attract readers and has turned a 10% profit this year.

Five key insights into online video consumption habits
The Sun says that 70% of their stories feature a video embed, action taken in response to a huge increase in demand from mobile users. With video consumption time set to rise almost 20% in 2016 and ROI comparatively high on video advertising, its easy to see why publishers are becoming more and more interested in ubiquitous video.

To Grow Revenues, Media Companies Must Harness Data
Three really good ideas how media companies can use data to grow audience: understanding differences in distributed platforms and utilizing them correctly; being aware of ad inventory and pricing it according to relevancy; and knowing where the audience is viewing content. Piano’s Composer is a tool that allows media companies to accomplish these tasks easily with no tech resource involvement.

Medium becomes latest tech company to lure publishers aboard
Medium, which heretofore hosted writing from individuals, has introduced new tools to entice bigger publications to publish on its platform. To wit, Medium offers free hosting, integration with Facebook’s Instant Articles and Google’s AMP, built in advertising and a “membership” program.

Paid Or Ad-Supported: Pick One Model, And Stick With It
Media observer Frederic Filloux continues with his thoughts from last week regarding the loss of quality journalism due to click-bait. He contends that its impossible for smaller brands to do both subscription and advertising well and suggests that publishers need to make a choice in favor of one or the other and then optimize that model.

Shorter isn’t better, photos aren’t always alluring and deep digging pays off, recent report concludes
The American Press Institute recently released a paper that analyzed more than 400,000 news stories for digital readership patterns. The results were somewhat surprising: long-form journalism is well read and enhances a publication’s offering, photos and videos boost engagement and major enterprise stories, in spite of their expense, are worth it.

How a Small Tech Site Found a New Way for Publishers to Get Paid
Affiliate marketing, enabling users to purchase products directly from links in reviews or articles, and pays publishers a percentage from retailers, jump-started “the wire cutter” website. Although affiliate marketing won’t work for everyone, it represents thinking outside the traditional box and is certainly a method that is working for some.

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