News in the Digital Age: A Useful Case for Other Sectors to Take Notes
The publishing industry has been evolving rapidly and constantly since it has ventured into the digital world. Certain features that were previously labelled as interactive are now becoming obsolete and are making way for newer and more modern ones. Editors of newspapers struggle to adapt to the ongoing challenges and opportunities that are generated by the age of digital disruption and the consequences of the aftermath.
Some of the pressing challenges faced are illuminated by two types models:
- Subscription, readers who are accustomed to reading a variety of articles or news on a regular basis in order to be up to date and who regularly engage with brands as providers of their information and content.
- Employing search for news or articles of a specific subject caused by an event or circumstance.
In either case, we observe significant changes in the interaction between the reader and the news/magazine industry whereby all stakeholders should place great emphasis on how this affects brand recognition:
In recent years, news producers have been forced to adapt to new realities while the inertia of the past maintained certain forms of control such as requiring a reader to complete entire texts in the exact place and section where located, placing large emphasis on captions, static images, legends to answers on the crossword etc. Today users demand that information is presented in a manner that is more direct and ‘sexy.’ Accuracy and freshness are paramount to the experience even in circumstances where news is serious and more importantly where every phrase can be highly scrutinized.
Today there is an excess of stories, news, comments, reactions, sources, platforms, formats, narratives and styles. In many cases, this creates the notion that one feels uncomfortable from time to time in regard to the validity of information that is presented or even to incur a feeling of untrustworthiness towards the opinions of writers. Furthermore, the manner in which readers become selective of their content creates a higher sensitivity to ideologies, opinions, preferences, lifestyles and controversial subjects. To make matters more challenging, the emergence of fake news has created a cocktail of potential problems that disturb the public perception of important issues. Editors that are able to display empathy with readers who are victims of this situation, reduce this overall burden to a minimum and succeed in the market by creating positive brand experiences.
The Concept of Diversity
This may be one of the most important challenges that the industry faces because it implies a dilemma that not everyone knows how to solve properly. On the one hand it is important to tell stories with credibility and to conversely allow people to form their own personal opinions and their own criteria. However, readers look to personalize their experience in a manner that may not mesh with the way media is presented to them because of their lifestyle and the platform itself. Furthermore, users will avoid certain content that conflicts with their political, religious ideologies along with personal tastes and moral values. The big question that editors need to ask themselves is: How can the reading experience be personalized in a way that stays faithful towards the basic principles of reporting objectively?
Balancing out Revenue between Subscription and Advertising
This is undoubtedly an issue that generates debate between offering free or low-cost information in exchange for exposure to advertising versus the subscription model with zero ad saturation. Both models can coexist if we truly understand that advertising has to be relevant and entertaining. There is no better outcome in creating an environment that is free and where the advertising is actually personalized and enjoyable. This results in a positive experience which lets the user consider purchasing a subscription at some point in the future and in the meantime, they can continue consuming relevant advertising content.
Traditional media has gone through a digital transformation in which the world is now becoming mobile first and this buzz word is at the helm of our very own devices and apps that we consume. We must recognize that the convergence of news and mobile is a complicated issue, in which editors need to prioritize the simple principles of readership in order to lead a consumer centric philosophy that is successful. At Todo Mobile our motto is based on providing the most recommended and fresh practices in order to ensure that brands do not lose sight of the large difficulties and challenges of their specific sectors and that they incorporate the proper development and design of their apps along with a media plan, that coincides with audience segmentation under the umbrella of mobile strategy.
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