5th Future of Media & Publishing

Future of Media & Publishing

As a recruitment agency, we are incredibly lucky to work across the entire publishing industry be it Trade book publishing, Academic, Education, Scientific or the Professional sector which includes B2B and B2C publishing. The word ‘publishing’ can mean so many different things and we were delighted to attend Bibblio’s fifth Future of Media & Publishing Event, focussed on the B2B media sector.

We heard from Bryan Glick, Editor-in-Chief at Computer Weekly on how they moved from a classic B2B print trade magazine to a growing, profitable digital brand with a different business model, followed by a panel discussion on audience, marketing and revenue growth in the B2B publishing space from Mads Holmen, Co-founder and CEO, Bibblio; Paul Franklin, Group Publisher, Dennis Publishing; Esther Kezia Thorpe, Senior B2B Content Marketing Manager, Dennis Publishing; Mary Douglas, Head of Engagement, Architects Journal and Helen Olsen Bedford, Publisher, UKAuthority.com.  

Started in 1966, Computer Weekly was the world’s first technology newspaper and having recognised the long-term decline in print advertising, after acqusition by TechTarget, Bryan came in to focus on the digital transformation – he successfully changed the model and created a growing, profitable digital brand, hence the newspaper ceased print in 2011.

In todays market, B2B publishing is challenging, and we have to find a way to engage our audience in different ways – digital has created opportunities for us, but it has also meant that we have to challenge our thinking. This brilliant panel of experts gave some extremely useful insight into how they have tackled these changes in their own businesses, but also summed up some of the overall trends which we have summarised below:

  • Although the distribution and ways in which we engage with content has changed, the strategy still remains the same – and that is to focus on maintaining a high quality of content and engaging the right audience.
  • In print, we know who is reading, but not what is actually read. With the transition to digital, there is an abundance of data and opportunity that comes with it – it means we can track exactly what is read, but unfortuantely not the audience who are reading. This is a challenge for our industry.
  • There is no ‘one size fits all’ with media brands – no silver bullet. Each brand needs to find its own sweet spot which may come from trialing different ways to connect with readers to find out what works for them.
  • Technology has broken the traditional barriers and given companies, and brands, a broader opportunity to connect with their consumers.
  • Data analytics is used to combine reader demographics with behaviour in terms of content consumption in order to identify key trends and patterns.
  • Readers enjoy quality content, but this isn’t free of charge. Subscription models are often used to allow more consumers to access more content and therefore online advertisement now only forms a small percentage of revenue. 
  • With online advertising revenue decreasing, we must explore new revenue opportunities which will sit alongside advertising to create a diverse, and effective revenue stream.

It was fantastic to be part of Bibblio's B2B publishing event last night. Shout out to all the attendees who made it through the storm and joined in at Work.Life, Fitzrovia!