Over the last few weeks, there was a lot of discussion about the publishing industry’s transformation. And the surprise was that the publishers did not start the discussion, but rather tech companies like Facebook, Google, and Apple did.
The message for each publisher and for the whole industry is : “You are not able to transform to digital successfully on your own”! And this is not the opinion of a single entity; it is a common understanding of the leading companies in the mobile world. Facebook, Google, and Apple are no longer offering platforms or marketplaces; they are providing key solutions to enable content delivery via apps and mobile Web. And they (e.g. News by Apple) deliver a new business model in these solutions at the same time.
Technology is navigating mobile with a clear and articulated strategy that will reshape our products, processes, and people to be “mobile first.” This doesn’t mean mobile only – Publishers should believe in reaching their customers, whatever platforms they choose – but it does mean that they will favour the Smartphone.
Product experimentation is vital. To that end, adopting new mobile platforms like Apple Watch. It delivers the latest and most popular news in a format perfectly suited to quick glances. This creates potential for exciting new content services.
New York Time is focusing on one-sentence stories, summing up the gist of the story in one sentence. It will also allow the user to save the story for a later read using the “save for later” option or pass the story to the user’s iPhone using Handoff
The Guardian has created an app called Moments. This consists of short, snappy screens containing content that is tailored for the time of day.
Google started the Digital News Initiative (DNI) Europe’s publishers only. Google will help the industry in financing tech developments, which will enable publishers to easily move into the digital and especially mobile markets.
Google’s launch of Google News Lab shows how little faith it has in a stand-alone publisher being successful in the digital transformation. Google demonstrated to publishers how to work, with which tools, and what kind of products should be produced.
Is that bad enough? Not really. The really bad news is that Google, Apple, and Facebook assume that there’s not much time left for the transformation before the publishing industry dies.
What Publishers Should Do?
Publishers must not fall into platform myopia. They need to consider that Mobile will eventually be comprised of 10 billion units in comparison to a mere 1.5 billion internet-connected PCs. Undoubtedly, this is a huge opportunity for all publishers, but they need to approach the platform in a new way.
Lessons from the past show that there are winners and losers in any move to a new platform; there will also be winners and losers in this move to mobile. The winners will be those who take advantage of the new technology, new methods of customer acquisition and engagement, and, more importantly, new possibilities for creating user experiences on emerging platforms. The winners will be those who ideate and experiment and then execute incredibly well.
Do we really put the fate in the hands of others? Or do we want to show that we know best when it comes to what our readers and users want?
Then let’s start to transform radically and today with iPublisher !