The Austin Publishing Summit focused on several major changes in media and publishing that have been brewing over the past decade. We heard from media companies of all types. Although no two businesses were alike in their product offerings, everyone agreed on the challenges and future of the media industry.
MONETIZING YOUR AUDIENCE:
In today’s world, publishers know very little about their audiences because their content is distributed through so many different channels. Publishers need better ways to identify their target audiences to create actionable insights. Many companies are realizing that it is more important to intimately know their base set of subscribers and to focus on their needs, rather than trying to engage others outside of their committed consumers. Publishers also tasked with managing two distinct groups of consumers – subscribers and free content seekers, and they are forced to focus on two streams of content – in front of and behind the paywall.
As identifying your audience has become increasingly difficult, the fact is that reaching the right audience is more important than reaching the largest audience. Businesses need to ensure their content gets to consumers that will act and make the business money.
ADVERTISING’S ROLE IS CHANGING:
Publishers are adjusting to the ways in which media buyers want their inventory – some of the major trends are in video, i.e. promoting more engaging video experiences, native integrations and branded content/automation. The industry believes that video is not the way to get new subscribers, but rather it is a means to enhance the content on the page. Most teams realize the need to interact with social, but they are still struggling with how to monetize it. Questions around which format is best are at the top of everyone’s minds, and many publishers believe longform videos will enhance their audiences’ content experiences. Legacy publishers seem to be shying away from video as their consumers still want to read content, but it’s difficult to say which method will win out.
Native advertising is based on the premise of content and advertising becoming one. It looks and feels relevant to the consumer, and if done properly, it is a way to make the subscriber feel that the content is relevant to them. However, (according to Austin Publishing Summit data) 31 percent of consumers have ad-blockers, 86 percent of consumers admit to purposefully avoiding ads, so even if your advertising is native, it may not be reaching the consumers. Data driven and automated ad technologies (programmatic) have changed the way brands advertise, and it is crucial that the right ad is going to the right person at the right time.
BRANDS MUST BE AGILE
Publishers need to be intimately familiar with who their audience is and where they are coming from to ensure long-term engagement. Social channels (Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram) are illustrating that consumers want to interact with the content. In this forum, publishers must learn to carry on a conversation with their consumers rather than dictating to them because their long-term engagement depends on a dialogue, not one-time engagement. Content across platforms (print, digital, social) is unique, so the advertising attached to each needs to be unique too – that’s why knowing your audience is critical. We know things will never stop evolving – whether it’s a change to Facebook’s algorithm that throws off your social syndication or a new video platform to engage millennials, publishers need to be flexible to keep up with the pace of the industry.
NetSuite is equipped to handle the changes in media and is a flexible platform built to grow with your business; whether your revenue model changes or you add new product offerings, NetSuite can adapt. Flexibility is the name of the game in a constantly-evolving media industry and having a system that can produce reliable reports and dashboards is critical. Moreover, NetSuite acts as a central repository for finance and will allow complete visibility into the health of your company. Please visit our media page to learn more about how we can ensure your publishing business is successful for years to come.