The digital age has led to huge shifts in many long-standing industries, publishing having been significantly impacted (to say the least), and not simply in terms of print giving way to online distribution. Publishers and media companies face ever-changing methods of content delivery, user habits, new platforms and networks through which users find and engage with content. And, as we have seen with the meteoric rise of online video, even the medium moves with time.
So in the constantly shifting digital landscape, what should media companies be thinking about as they luck to the future?
Your content will live away from home
Over the last couple years, all the major tech companies have all rolled out products for hosting content – especially news content – that would traditionally be presented on a publisher’s website. From Apple News to Snapchat Discover to Facebook Instant Articles and beyond, the big guys are making a play for distribution control.
Many publishers might be hesitant to give up that control, not to mention the ad dollars, but the tradeoff might be worth it when you consider the enormous audiences of those services, and the influence they have on their users. The benefits come into sharp focus for emerging digital publishers, who can tap into those user pools in the places their audience wants to be.
All mobile, all the time
We’ve written before about just how important the mobile experience is to video, and a mobile focus will only continue to serve publishers well. According to Cisco, mobile data traffic grew by a staggering 74% in 2015 over 2014, capping a ten-year period in which it has grown 4,000-fold!
As new publishers look to gain footing in the digital landscape, and established voices look to reach new audiences, producing content for a mobile audience is an absolute must. Videos need to be short and engaging. When possible, they should be functional without sound, so no matter when, where, or how a viewer wants to enjoy your content, they can get the most out of it. Speaking of video…
It’s video all the way down
The present and future of online content is video, plain and simple. Many media companies are wise to video’s popularity and the absolute necessity of having a video focus to maintain relevance in the crowded digital field.
But video isn’t just the moment’s trend or an additive bit of content. Video is the core medium of the future. Facebook’s head of European operations, Nicola Mendelsohn, went so far recently as to posit that in five years Facebook “will be probably all video.”
While it’s hard to imagine Facebook – or the internet at large – becoming all video, there is no doubt that video’s popularity and prevalence will only continue to rise. Media companies will do well to double-down on their efforts with video, and make video the centerpiece of their content offerings.