NIKO­LAY MALYAROV

The Insider - - WORDS ON SIDE - EVP, Chief Con­tent Of­fi­cer and Gen­eral Coun­sel @malyarov

English writer, es­say­ist and critic, Charles Lamb, once said, “No one ever re­garded the 1st of Jan­uary with in­dif­fer­ence.”

It’s hard to ar­gue with him given our propen­sity to see New Year’s Day as a chance to for­get the sins of the past and turn over a new leaf. Un­for­tu­nately, this self-im­posed am­ne­sia of­ten re­sults in us re­peat­ing our past mis­takes, just as we did in 2015.

Over the past year we wit­nessed peo­ple’s grow­ing un­will­ing­ness to pay for con­tent de­spite their in­creased ap­petite for the news. We saw trust in tra­di­tional me­dia con­tinue to de­cline with the ris­ing epi­demic of ban­ner blind­ness, ad block­ing, fraud and malver­tis­ing.

None of these things were new, nor were they in­solv­able; but their so­lu­tions were just too painful to even con­tem­plate. So in­stead we en­tered 2015 hop­ing and pray­ing for an eas­ier way that never ma­te­ri­al­ized.

So what will 2016 bring? Hope? That’s a given. We can’t live with­out it. But will we con­tinue to carry our bag­gage from the last decade (or even cen­tury) into this new year? Not if we re­mem­ber that the root cause of al­most all our woes has been one fun­da­men­tal mis­take – for­get­ting to be per­son-cen­tric in all we do.

2016 is an op­por­tu­nity to turn things around as au­to­ma­tion ma­tures and in­creases, Smart Data helps us ex­ploit be­hav­ioral an­a­lyt­ics and adapt in to­day’s pas­sion-based econ­omy. We’ll see more and more pub­lish­ers di­ver­sify their of­fer­ings to try and en­gage peo­ple be­tween page-flips with im­mer­sive en­ter­tain­ment and Vir­tual Re­al­ity. Ex­per­i­men­ta­tion will in­ten­sify, but only for those who are will­ing to risk a lit­tle to gain a lot. And the pub­lisher-jour­nal­ist value equa­tion will be trans­formed as more sur­pris­ing transna­tional and cross-in­dus­try con­sol­i­da­tions oc­cur.

All of these events will open up new op­por­tu­ni­ties if we head into 2016 putting the per­son at the cen­ter of ev­ery de­ci­sion we make, hav­ing this fo­cus in­fil­trate our en­tire or­ga­ni­za­tion and be­come an in­te­gral part of our cor­po­rate cul­ture.

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