Searching for Eldorado
As publishers of print media grapple with finding ways that speak to the sophisticated audiences of today, while leveraging continuously evolving technologies into the mix, coming-up with novel solutions that work best is proving more challenging than ever.
Considering that there is no one answer to the question of how to do it best, different strategies have yielded different results that vary in the degree of success and failure. Yet of all the tried and tested approaches, one reality becomes inescapable, namely that the publishers need to create an environment that is both inviting to their readers as well as part of their digital ecosystem.
To do that, a number of serious considerations have to be made, and even then there are no guarantees of a more positive outcome. The only real danger in that process, becomes the ability to maintain the publication’s identity without compromising too much for the sake of engagement.
On the other hand, and in a daring move, one of the world’s biggest magazine publishing networks, Condé Nast, has already taken a bold step in a new direction through the use of technologies such as Virtual Reality and 360-degree video in the belief that advertisers would eagerly get onboard.
These videos, the organisation hopes, would ‘transcend all screens’ with new video ad products designed to work on all platforms. It also made it clear that leaning heavily into social, commerce and influencers is key in that regard.
However, creating and distributing videos on social platforms has met with plenty of frustration as publishers are restricted by the same platforms in their ability to sell advertising against their content.
This is part of the reason why some publishers have erected their own social media channels where almost ‘anything goes’ in hope of growing them to complement their available offerings in a richer and more interactively-appealing way.
Others, who bow to the established digital order, have decided to prevent users who have ad blocking software installed on their browsers to view the publications’ online websites to ensure maximum exposure to advertisements.
Again, and as the competition heats up, little is known about the future of the print industry.
Nonetheless, what is clear is the fact that the reality we used to identify with, has taken on many additional ‘virtual’ layers that expand the possibilities, which thus far seem to lack form though are laden with function. For that reason, we will be tackling the matter more closely in the coming issue as it relates to the MENA region.