What’s in store for digital publishing in 2022?

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The mark of a new year offers a great opportunity to reflect on the year prior and speculate on the one to come. What trends were popular, what trends are expected to be popular moving forward? Keeping up to date on this information is a strategic way to plan your goals for 2022.

What’s New in Publishing capped off 2021 by compiling some industry leaders’ thoughts on the state of digital publishing heading into the new year.

A quality website should be one of your biggest priorities

One of the biggest topics touched on is the need to get ahead on page experience. This is something that LexBlog—spearheaded by our Director of Technology Scott Fennell—has already zoned in on.

Google Core Web Vitals plays a large role when it comes to SEO and site performance. This is something Scott has identified already and worked on for the LexBlog platform.

Via Alexander Azarov, the CEO and Founder of Clickio:

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As we move into 2022, it will be vital for publishers to embrace technologies that improve site performance—and thus the user experience—by looking beyond strategies that focus on monetization alone.

As a digital publisher, your site should aim to be one of the easiest for a user to navigate. With so many people online and exposed to various qualities of websites, all it takes is a slow load time or messy appearance to send them somewhere else.

Via Michael Korsunsky, the North America CEO of MGID:

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Page speed has been a talking point for some time, thanks to Google’s CWVs awarding higher search rankings to sites with faster load times. This is increasingly important as video becomes a more dominant medium and forms a key part of publishers’ ad monetization strategies.

Publishers are looking to video now more than ever as a means of producing content

There will always be a place for the written word—but now, there’s a growing desire for visual formats according to the experts that WNIP highlighted.

Via Andrew Rosenman, the Global Product Marketing Lead of Smart AdServer:

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Leading print-oriented publishers that have experimented with audiovisual content on the web over the past five years are now recognizing the engagement and subscriber service value of video as a primary format. And no group has moved more quickly than national newspapers and weekly periodicals to build out video content studios to populate their digital editions. The Economist, for example, was an early mover in the CTV space, launching “The Economist Films” as far back as 2016 to create a hub for its long-form content.

If 2021 and 2020 taught us anything, it was that people are all for videos—just take a look at the explosion of TikTok. It’s a perfect medium for both short-form and long-form content, and a nice change to the constant text people are met with when they’re looking for information.

Subscriptions are the hottest new thing

Though not new by any means, subscription services as a way to monetize content have been growing and growing.

Via John Phillips, the General Manager of EMEA, Zuora

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In order to re-define the relationship with audiences and to grow global revenues, media companies across all segments—from OTT/streaming and gaming to publishing, education and music— will all continue to rely on subscription services as the predominant revenue stream.  

Though subscriptions as a form of monetization are no doubt valuable, I do personally worry about too many publishers moving to this model. Not only would it be detrimental to the general consumer who now has to fork over money to receive valuable info, but if every big company has a paywall up, consumers are likely going to just pick one subscription to get their information from.

Now, when talking about subscriptions that offer an added benefit—but still have a free version available—I think that’s great. For example, you can enjoy Spotify for free though you’ll run into advertisements, same with live-streaming platform Twitch. A subscription that either gives you additional content or allows you to bypass needless ads is always a good option.

And focusing on building a subscriber count in general is a good model. Legal bloggers, for example, build their subscribers (for free) to gain a following and increase their reputation. Subscriptions have many benefits, even when they’re not monetized.

Michelle Newblom
About the Author

Michelle works on LexBlog’s Publishing team as the Editor and assists in managing and creating the company’s editorial and social content, as well as working with clients to ensure the overall success of their blogs. She has experience working in all different realms of publishing—including newspapers, magazines and research journals. 

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