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.

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