In the past seven years, the news media landscape has seen enormous changes.
According to a new report from the International News Media Association (INMA), the industry is struggling with three major disruptions:
- A rapid, massive increase in data. The amount of global digital information is expected to triple between now and 2020.
- The rise of social media. Consumers are spending more time with news media than they did five years ago. However, this time pales in comparison to the amount of time that they spend on social media.
- Mobility. According to International Business Times, 20% of Millennials access the Internet exclusively through their mobile devices. Meanwhile, 39 of the top 50 online news websites get more traffic from mobile devices than they get from desktops.
The News Media Outlook 2016: The Dimension Behind the Façade report is based on feedback from INMA members and CEO Earl J. Wilkinson’s travels worldwide.
Image Source: INMA
According to the report, here’s what news media companies must do to survive in 2016 and beyond:
Optimize your existing infrastructure.
In the past seven years, media companies have tried to keep pace with how consumers want to receive news. They’ve adopted new technologies and launched new services – such as mobile sites, video, social media, ad blocking, and paywalls – to drive readership and revenue.
The report states, “The architecture supporting these add-ons is getting shaky — especially in a slowing or declining revenue environment.”
Instead of adding more technologies, news media companies must focus on optimizing the ones that they already have.
Focus on mobile apps.
Image Source: eMarketer
eMarketer predicted that by 2017 U.S. adults will spend 725 minutes per day – more than half of a full day – with mobile media. Much of this time will be spent watching videos and engaging with their favorite apps.
Meanwhile, Forrester data showed that 84% of app users engage with just four apps. If news media companies can get on this “top four list”, they can gain a huge competitive advantage.
The INMA report advises news media companies to create an attention strategy for mobile, focusing on curating content “for an audience that thrives on frequent interruptions.”
Harness the power of big data.
The INMA finds that media companies are integrating big data at three speeds – fast, medium, and slow.
According to the report, “The fast lane involves total immersion and is embraced by many of the digital companies. The middle lane is occupied by high-end legacy publishers who are hiring data scientists. The slow lane involves marketing basics like subscription offer optimization or A/B testing”.
Media companies that move towards the fast lane can see benefits such as improved targeting, lower subscriber churn rates, and increased market share.
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