Publishing houses are still unknowing as to where future revenues will come from. And, the challenge comes from the fact that readers are now often reluctant to pay for content unless a subscription also offers some added value. Simply because today’s technology allows readers to become accustomed to consuming free, instant content on multiplatform.
According to Linda Ruth, CEO and president of PSCS Consulting and authority on marketing and audience development, there are many reasons as to why the money is not moving at the same rate as everything else:
- Free Content: One of the main reasons for this monetization problem is, now, a lot of things are available for free online that had not been previously. People do not need to spend money anymore to buy a news story because they can consume the same story online for free.
- Audience Engagement: Another reason has to do with the changing patterns of audience engagement. Why will people spend a dollar to send a virtual gift that has no actual value or concrete existence on Facebook but that same person won’t spend a dollar to read a news story or a magazine? It is because audiences are looking for more than just straight content. They want to interact and engage with content that challenges them in a variety of ways.
So, can publishers still make a profit? How? In her webinar video below, Linda pointed out that publishers need to go far beyond digital editions, the type of content and deals offered. It will take nothing less than a radical change in the way content is created and audience is approached to make a sustainable and profitable publication.
We know that strategies and success differ for each title and publisher. But the key is to respond to audience demand quickly, unrelenting and careful in navigating trial and error to make sure they secure a piece of the audience and successful in their shift to digital.