Digital Publishers Are Feeling The Revenue Pressure, but Help is On the Way

Online publishing is a tricky industry, especially for legacy print publications that long relied on subscriptions and pages of ad revenue. Today, these publications are trying to determine how to maximize their revenue while continuing to publish high-quality content and deliver a positive user experience so that they maintain readership. While those core top-level goals always remain, publishers’ minds are often occupied with the nitty-gritty details on how they’ll actually deliver on those objectives.

At its recent Publishing Summit, Digiday polled attendees on what’s occupying the most space in their brains these days. It breaks down as follows:

  • Getting people to pay (30% of attendees said this was the biggest issue)
  • Latency (20%)
  • Talent (20%)
  • User Experience (15%)
  • Vendors (15%)

Publishers are very much on the hunt for solutions to solve these pain points. Fortunately, some options already exist.

No one faces the revenue challenge more than local media orgs that are still transitioning the bulk of their output to the internet. While Digiday saw that some of these outlets (and their larger counterparts) are struggling to get consumers to pay via subscription models, others are finding ways to grow their ad revenue by streamlining their sales teams and offering ad products that go well beyond their traditional offerings. This means getting sales teams that are experts in print to become masters of the digital domain, teaching them about mobile, programmatic and social, so that they can package these services together for clients.

At the same time, if publishers are able to submit all of their ad orders through one centralized system that covers print, desktop and mobile, they’ll have a much easier time handling them. This kind of system makes it easier for sales teams to input orders, show their clients the work, and then go right back to doing what they do best, which is selling. The other added benefit here is that a centralized system can help publishers and their sales forces minimize the amount of time they spend dealing with different vendors as well.

Local media is still the number one marketing channel for most SMBs, so these publishers will always have opportunities to sell ads. By working with partners to integrate digital marketing into their sales packages, these publishers can combine print, display and mobile and set themselves up for success well into the future.