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Looking Back: 2015’s Top Publishing Trends

The world of publishing has changed, and will continue to do so – rapidly.
Nowhere is this more apparent than in how media companies interact with both their audience and their advertisers. In 2015, we saw a rising tide of media diversification as they emphasize print companies less and less and look to adapt to the digital world. If your media company is going to thrive, it’s going to have to adapt as well. And to adapt, you need to know where the tide is rising.
As 2015 comes to an end, its trends will not. Here are some of 2015’s top publishing trends that are here to stay come next year: 2015's top publishing trends
An Increasingly Digital Audience
Today’s audience is digital. They can order a short story at a moment’s notice, download the issue of a newspaper with a click, or simply scan the Internet for a few quick headlines. For the most part, customers expect bite-sized content—and the challenge for publishers continues to be simple: advertising.
How do you advertise to an audience that moves this quickly?
As your audience’s expectations of your platforms change, so too must the media’s methods of advertisement.
Creative Revenue Modeling
For both online and print media, the revenue has traditionally come from advertising and subscriptions. That hasn’t changed, but what is changing is that with ad revenues dropping, companies are looking to add subscriptions and paywalls. The problem: paywalls turn the audience off.
Publishers will have to get creative. Sponsored content is one type of revenue stream that’s on the rise. With today’s audiences expecting bite-sized content in quick succession, finding ways to add advertisement without impeding the customer experience will be paramount.
Chasing Efficiencies
If you take a look back at the media landscape of 2015, you’ll see less emphasis on local news outlets and a greater emphasis on efficient news organizations. There might be 8-10 big news organizations in the country, and they’re acquiring local news outlets at astonishing speed.
With larger companies devouring the little ones, profitability at the local level has become even more important. That means slashing budgets, incorporating national news from the larger media companies, and creating a system in which fast content can be delivered to local audiences with minimal cost. Expect this trend to continue in the last quarter of 2015 and beyond.
The Shifting Revenue Mix
For many media companies, the mix of revenues is shifting dramatically. No longer can they rely on print sales to sustain their company; they have to turn to the digital world if they’re going to stay afloat.
One new source of revenue: local landing pages as well as SEO and marketing. Media companies are working directly with local businesses to set up advertising programs on more than just the old print platforms: now Mom and Pop shops across the countries are looking to land on search engines for top local keywords with their custom-built landing pages.
With media companies expanding into local business marketing and breaking into ecommerce as well, they’re quickly becoming the conduit for local businesses to reach their audiences. The result? Media companies are beginning to take on the role of a digital ad agency, even if they won’t quite admit it yet.
In 2016, look for these trends not only to continue, but to expand. The media landscape is changing quickly—but for the companies that are willing to see these trends and adapt accordingly, there’s plenty of business out there for the taking.

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