Future of Publishing - Launch of the What's New in Publishing Report

Last week, Team Professional attended a superb event hosted by Bibblio and Media Voices on the Future of Publishing and the launch of a report from What’s New in Publishing, written by the Media Voices team. This report focusses on Magazine and Media publishing and discusses key developments over the last twelve months and what we might expect for 2019 and is available for download here.

The Media Voices team kicked off the evening with some key stats from each section of the report:

  1. Advertising - Amazon will become a big advertising player and has demonstrated that there is a constant flux within the media industry around advertising – it just goes to show that there is always space for innovation in advertising.

  2. Reader Revenue - Retaining readers is 4-5 times cheaper than acquiring new ones! As publishers, it is important to engage readers, give value and deliver on promises

  3. Platforms – Facebook is the least trusted social platform and 44% of 18-27 year olds have deleted the Facebook app in the US.

  4. Print - Whilst commodity print has taken a huge drop – specialist publications like The Spectator has seen an 11% subscription growth. We are finally seeing digital and print working together to help each other out.

  5. News - 1 in 5 people now ignore the news completely and trust is now the basis on which news media runs.

  6. Alternative Revenues - it is said that in order to run a successful publishing company, you need 5 or 6 revenue streams #mixofsix. This could be events, advertising, ecommerce, consultancy, subscription model, publishing a book from your content etc. Figure out what adds value for your audience!

  7. Data – GDPR has been a huge focus this year, more than 1000 US news sites are still unavailable in Europe.

  8. Opportunities for 2019 - 40% of Slate’s revenue will come from podcasting – proves that there is growth and opportunity in podcasting and publishers that podcast will be able to rely on an audience. There is a positive message that publishers who invest will survive and thrive by reaching and finding new audiences.

Next, we heard some case studies and first up was CC Webster to tell us about how her story became a brand. I think it is fair to say that the entire room was inspired by CC’s passion, drive and sheer determination. At the age of 29 years old, CC’s career in pharmaceutical advertising was really taking off, and then she received a cancer diagnosis. Her whole world turned around. She made it her mission to turn this experience into something that meant something and she created a brand. She wrote her story which she self-published and got a #24 Amazon Bestseller and she changed her perspective. Using the cancer as a driver, she became acutely aware of how brands work and off the back of her book, she built a business. CC is an Author, Brand Consultant and Strategist – helping wellness educators and experts become savvy entrepreneurs and business owners.

Following CC, we heard from Pete Wootton, Digital Managing Director at Dennis Publishing. With the report telling us about utilising alternative revenue streams, it was really interesting to hear how Dennis have captured this and the huge success they are having! Dennis are a hugely successful publishing business, with 35 brands delivering £170m in revenue split across Automotive, Technology, Lifestyle and Current Affairs. Their strategy was to build audiences in key virtual markets, launch new products and to monetise by diversifying revenue streams. A key focus for Dennis was to put content at the heart of the business and Pete was able to talk us through a superb example that they have delivered for one of their brands, www.buyacar.co.uk. As a media company, Dennis were able to generate an audience they knew they could convert and have achieved organic growth delivering over 400 cars per month through this e-commerce platform. Having bought the business in 2014, Dennis have focussed on changing the culture and driving the sales funnel which has had amazing results – buyacar.co.uk are projected to make 40% of Dennis’ entire revenue this year.

We ended the evening with a panel discussion and the key takeaways were that publishers are being more open, and understanding the need of trust from their audience. Publishers need to care about who are reading and buying products and recognise that knowledge of their audience is worth so much. The companies who are agile, who embrace change and are open to new ideas will be more successful; disruption will happen on your watch whatever industry you’re in – but be adaptable and agile! Thank you Bibblio and Media Voices for a positive and exciting event looking towards the future and showcasing inspiring professional careers within the industry.


To find out more about Professional Publishing opportunities get in touch with Esme Richardson at Inspired Selection: e.richardson@inspiredselection.com and keep abreast of the latest roles available by following @InspiredJobs on Twitter.