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.