Things continue to evolve in the Digital Publishing industry in new, exciting ways. New data-driven solutions are emerging to improve customer acquisition and engagement. The major areas of innovation seem to be around new revenue models, data security, multi-generational engagement, and content delivery for multi-media audiences. In this blog lets examine the Digital Publishing trends in 2023.
Around the world media companies have relied on advertising for sustenance for over 100 years. Neither content creation companies like news channels, nor consumers particularly like advertisements. To the former it reduces the impact of the content and jeopardizes consumer engagement in an already fragmented market. To the latter, news becomes less trustworthy if the news company has a clear dependance on perhaps the same people and companies on which they might want to report. Therefore creating successful subscription models has been an ongoing effort. In the era of digital media, with consumer attention spans dropping from minutes to seconds, digital media struggled with getting people to pay for content even more.
That seems to have changed in the last couple of years with several companies’ freemium / pay-wall models starting to work out. This is the result of many factors. Brands learned to create premium user experience behind paywalls, while also improving awareness among consumers of the need to pay for high quality. Brands also developed sophisticated user-driven and smart automation based content personalization. New Emotion Analysis algorithms even determined the most opportune moments to show paywalls!
All in all, modern digital media consumers, used to Freemium models, and OTT platforms that used various subscription models seem to have accepted subscription models. Our take on this is that creators should indeed get paid for their work, and consumers should get great value for money. The onus in on the brands to ensure great content curation that keeps consumers coming back for more.
So-called “third party cookies” are used to track users’ internet browsing behavior. “First party cookies” track visitors’ navigation and behavior on a particular website. For some time now there’s been a growing concern about more and more sophisticated cookies and algorithms potentially knowing too much about customers to create personalized experiences, and for marketing purposes. In response to objections from regulators and vocal users, Google has already begun its phase-out of third party cookies, and intends to complete it by 2024.
With the world’s biggest search engine essentially signaling that following people around on the internet is no longer acceptable, marketers and publishers are experimenting with new approaches to ensure ad effectiveness and improve user experience. New ways of data analysis, especially “Attention Metrics” and the so-called “Attention Economy” will see a lot of attention from advertisement analysts. We will also see greater use of “Second Party Cookies” (two or more partners sharing their First Party Cookies) in “Data Clean Rooms”, creating a whole new tech trend about new methods and technologies in that area. A really big change will be the shift from Behavioral tracking (what 3rd party cookies do) to Contextual Tracking (measuring relevance of the ad in the context of the page where it is placed) and staying away from tracking users.
AV & Beyond
Audio Visual content will continue to dominate in 2023. In every application from education to marketing, publishers are scrambling to create differentiated audio visual content including videos, images, sound clips, accompanying podcasts, or totally new concepts of omni-channel content that has elements of AV, text, simulations, practical activities, etc. The idea is to improve engagement, to boost comprehension (in case of educational material) and buy-in (in case of marketing material).
Beyond AV, another concept progressively growing in popularity is NFTs. As we’ve covered before, NFTs or Non-Fungible Tokens will allow unique identification of digital assets, thereby establishing traceable ownership details, perhaps on blockchain. There are interesting developments happening in this area, but we don’t think 2023 is when NFTs in media will explode, so we’re puttin a pin in this one.
We couldn’t possibly end this article without tipping our hats to Generative AI. If you haven’t heard of this sub-branch of Artificial Intelligence, you may have heard of the most popular application of this type: ChatGPT. This chatbot caught the public’s imagination and will probably power greater interest in AI-powered assistants of all sorts, from image generators to app builders and everything in between.
Increasingly in 2023 we will see a spate of new AI powered tools forever changing the way marketing, learning, product building, and communication happens. We can’t wait to see it!