Serving the “It’s All About ME” Generations
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.
TRAFFIC IS GOOD!
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.