2014 was an exciting year in the newspaper and publishing sector, and a quick glance ahead suggests that 2015 holds the promise of more change, innovation, and profits. For businesses that can keep up with the changing needs of everything from content production to advertising relationships to cross-platform development, the opportunities for growth are nearly endless. Here’s a closer look at a handful of big trends that you can expect to influence publishers in the year ahead.
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The mobile channel comes out ahead
According to comScore, the number of people accessing media online exclusively through mobile alone exploded by 85%. As a result, publishers are rethinking their mobile strategies. This includes how responsive their website design and functionality is on a wide range of devices. It also influences how content strategy, content format and deployment, and advertising are handled. Mobile will continue to be a major trend in this area as we move forward with mastering these important issues in an increasingly smartphone and tablet driven society.
The industry has already outgrown mobile
Counter-intuitively, if your mobile strategy only focuses on how your website appears on a smartphone, you’re simply not doing enough. Today, everything from Google Glasses used for reporting to wearable devices where individual provide constant biofeedback are opening up a whole new potential for different classes of technology to impact the media. What will happen here remains to be seen, but it promises to be exciting.
Content segues to revenue generating engagement opportunities
Publishers aren’t just talking about written vs. video vs. social media content this year. Instead, they’re looking at premium add-on experiences that supplement the content. For example, it could be a quarterly cooking workshop with a local famed chef that targets the Food Section’s favorite menus. Conversely, it could be webinars with sources on popular stories; or holding a bridal expo or a music festival. Each of these opportunities lets you collect more intel on your audience’s interests, serve them more targeted experiences, and potentially deepen your relationships over time. You may also open up new revenue streams along the way.
More targeted content
Publishers are backing away from existing templates and instead really listening to their audiences. What subjects or general areas are captivating readers? Is this worthy of increasing content production, highlighting new topics in a special section, adding custom content, or experimenting with content types? These types of innovations are no longer being seen as auxiliary. Instead, they’re quickly becoming the heart and soul of a newspaper that’s going to stay viable over time. Whether it’s a deeper connection with the local community to develop great local coverage or dipping a toe into the investigating world, 2015 is likely to feature editorial agendas that are bold, visionary, and tied to a specific reader demographic that publishers are trying to reach.
It’s an exciting time to be in publishing, with more freedom, flexibility, and opportunity than ever before. There’s also more noise and competition. That’s why embracing new forms of experimentation and really developing an agenda that’s geared toward your readers is essential for publishing success in 2015.