Serv­ing the “It’s All About ME” Gen­er­a­tions

The Insider - - CONTENT -

You don’t have to work in me­dia to know that the pub­lish­ing in­dus­try is in a state of per­pet­ual change, and as time goes by, the pace of that change is ac­cel­er­at­ing.

Di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion of dis­tri­bu­tion mod­els is on the rise, the dig­i­tal ad­ver­tis­ing land­scape is in dis­ar­ray and the user base has never been more frag­mented.

All that pub­lish­ers held as gospel in their busi­ness holy books is be­ing turned up­side down. Me­dia moguls that once ruled news are now be­ing schooled and ruled by the masses who are the guardians of dig­i­tal.

The sav­ing grace in all this chaos is that hunger for news has never been greater and the op­por­tu­ni­ties for pub­lish­ers are huge. But when it comes to the state of most pub­lish­ers’ web­sites, there is good news, there’s bad news and then there’s, let’s face it, ugly news.


In Au­gust 2015, dig­i­tal news­pa­per au­di­ences in the US hit an all-time high, peak­ing at 179.3 mil­lion unique adult vis­i­tors – 10% up from the same time the year be­fore.



The av­er­age time peo­ple spend on Face­book per day is 20+ min­utes. The av­er­age time peo­ple spend on news­pa­per sites is 1.1 min­utes.

In 2008, the av­er­age bounce rate for news and me­dia sites was ~55%. Seven years later, it is trending in the wrong di­rec­tion. Fif­teen years ago hu­mans had an at­ten­tion span of 12 sec­onds. To­day we’re sit­ting at 8.25 sec­onds – al­most a sec­ond less than that of a gold­fish!

So, re­gard­less of why bounce rates are so high, the fact is that reader at­ten­tion is a pre­cious com­mod­ity that pub­lish­ers can­not af­ford to waste.



Ac­cord­ing to a re­cent study by PageFair and Adobe, there are close to 200M peo­ple us­ing ad block­ing soft­ware to­day. In the US, ad block­ing grew by 48% in just 12 months; glob­ally, it’s grow­ing at a rate of 41% yearon-year. It was es­ti­mated to cost the in­dus­try US $10.7B in 2015 in the US, al­most dou­bling to $20.3B in 2016 ($41.4B glob­ally)!

I’m not sure UGLY even needs fur­ther de­bate be­cause the per­va­sive use of ad block­ers by news read­ers al­ready speaks for it­self. But what isn’t so com­pre­hen­si­ble is how the ram­pant growth of ad block­ing is be­ing ad­dressed by the in­dus­try.

Some pub­lish­ers have had the au­dac­ity to try and take ad block­ing ven­dors to court; thank­fully they are los­ing.

Oth­ers are declar­ing war on read­ers who use ad block­ers, forc­ing them to put up with their ad-in­fested web­sites, pay up if they don’t, or take a hike.

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