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Esther’s stepped back from this year’s cookie delays, Twitter takeovers, and bumpy ad markets, to highlight the developments in 2022 which have the potential to shape publishing strategies in 2023 and beyond.
She’s advises looking again at ad blocking, which is back at an all-time high, saying solutions are in short supply, and likely to remain so unless it is prioritized again. More positively, she sees potential for local news to be profitable and is guardedly optimistic about the future for subscriptions more generally.
But Esther’s big thing for next year is innovation in formats that have been around for a while. “Podcasts, newsletters and apps have been used by publishers of all shapes and sizes this year to deepen relationships and reduce churn. The key is to be where your audience is with a product that they need.” Spoiler: that’s probably not the metaverse.
This isn’t a surprising move, but in the current political climate in the UK, there are fears that a broadcast switch off will be used as cover to cut services that make the BBC special. Acknowledging the risk that the broadcaster becomes just another online content provider, Director General Tim Davie said: “Moving to digital is not the challenge in and of itself, moving to digital while not losing most of your audience and burning millions of pounds unnecessarily is the challenge.” You think?
The Washington Post will no longer operate its ad-tech division, Zeus, as a standalone business, according to Axios. The move ends The Post’s efforts to make money by licensing its ad-tech software to other premium publishers. This is driven by the ad market slowdown, but it’s one more example of why it’s tough for publishers to pivot to software.
I have to say, it’s been a while since I was invited to a ‘lavish’ holiday party thrown by a publisher. Maybe that says more about me than the publishing business, but if you’re heading out tonight or next week for a fancy Christmas knees up, think yourself lucky – you could be going to a wreath-making workshop or an ugly holiday sweater contest.
This special episode of Media Voices features the audio of our launch presentation for the Media Moments 2022 report. Chris, Peter and Esther each outline which media moment of the year they found interesting. The team are then joined by BuzzFeed’s Caroline Fenner, AdWeek’s Stephen Lepitak and Poool’s Ludivine Paquet to discuss what they’ve identified as the biggest shifts this year.
Our annual report has launched! Media Moments 2022 brings together the key events which have shaped the media and publishing industry this year, from the boom and bust cycles of the advertising market to news fatigue, the increasing prominence of climate coverage, and the impact of shifting trust.