Publishing content through conventional channels alone has become clearly inadequate when it comes to reaching today's audiences. This fact applies to companies in both B2C and B2B spaces, as the use of digital devices has become inescapable in office settings as well as homes. The ability to distribute information quickly and easily through online platforms, combined with wide availability of hardware that can view such documents has created a new marketplace that might be unfamiliar to media distribution veterans. Fortunately, plenty of effort has gone into understanding and compensating for the new content production paradigm and the results are beginning to show.
Media is fully digital
TechRadar recently interviewed CloudSense CEO Richard Britton about trends his company's recent survey discovered about publishing in the digital-first era. He noted that there has absolutely been a reshuffling of expectations and assumptions about how and when readers and viewers want to access materials. According to Britton, there is a cross-platform feeling sweeping the market, with the expectation being that data will be viewable on a variety of portable screens. Consumers appear so attached to their devices that they have made these gadgets into their primary modes of media consumption, trumping even low-effort formats such as television.
Britton told TechRadar that in a poll of U.S. content viewers, digital devices and online media trumped TV. The results were reversed in the U.K., but the fact that these are the top two media access methods shows the large potential audience presented to those publishing in the digital space. The main point of contention, according to Britton, is the fact that when companies try to get users to pay fees to access online content, there is push-back that wasn't felt in the era of physical distribution. Publishers that are giving their materials away for free, perhaps as part of a marketing effort, may therefore be much better prepared to go digital than traditional houses.
In fact, even in fields that have not traditionally been associated with advertising, this may be the way forward from a revenue perspective. Britton told the news provider that reluctance among young people to pay for materials is matched by a more than 50 percent willingness to accept ads if it means free access to content. These numbers are positive for companies giving away access to their information and pose an interesting challenge for those transferring their business into the digital space. Whatever happens next, it is clear online distribution will be the main platform.
Last holdouts changing
As far as sectors that seemed reluctant to go digital from both a publisher and audience standpoint, newspapers are a high-profile case. However, as Good e-Reader recently explained, even this type of media is giving way to a digital model. The news provider noted that there is a new trend in which mobile devices become the sole way in which people are consuming their news content. This is a big break for the smartphones and tablet manufacturers of the world, and shows that users are willing to shift their habits and read new types of media through online channels exclusively.