News & Opinion

Nic Newman's predictions for 2019: More focus on meaningful content

Publisher subscriptions, the pressure on social media and the rise of audio are all dominant themes in Newman's latest Reuters report, 'Journalism, media and technology trends and predictions 2019'.

The report is based on a survey of 200 media executives, senior editors and digital leaders across 29 countries.

Key predictions include:

  • Consumers will become increasingly conscious of the time they are spending online, resulting in more people leaving social media and a larger focus on "meaningful content"

  • Subscriptions will be a key priority for publishers this year– 52% expect it to be the main revenue focus in 2019, followed by digital advertising (27%), native advertising (8%) and donations (7%)

  • For news organisations, there will be an ongoing focus on collaboration and joint initiatives – such as digital ad sales hub The Ozone Project – with 71% seeing the value of shared advertising sales and 69% supporting shared tech and back office functions. Conversely, there is more reticence about pooling journalistic resources and output

  • Less than half of respondents (43%) believe that Facebook is likely to be important or extremely important in the coming year, compared to 87% for Google

  • 78% believe investing in artificial intelligence will help secure journalism's future

  • 78% believe voice-activated technologies will have a significant impact on how audiences access content and 75% say audio is becoming a more important part of their content and commercial strategies

Newman discussed the report's findings on BBC Radio 4's Media Show this week, telling host Amol Rajan that people want to spend time more meaningfully: "Something happened last year with the iOS 12 Apple update and they introduced this screen time and people were genuinely shocked about how many times they pick up the phone everyday... how much time they're spending with Facebook and Instagram and all the rest of it.”

You can download the report here and listen to the Media Show here.

by Jessie Sampson 10/01/19

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