This year has brought monumental changes to the magazine and digital publishing industry, and we often work with publishers who are facing a variety of challenges.

Each publisher is different, but there are some issues that are facing almost all publishers. From a digital perspective, the following three points encapsulate the critical challenges facing magazine and digital publishing today:

1: Monetisation

This year has brought its biggest ever challenge to publisher’s revenues, as readers increasingly seek free content, print circulation declines and ad blockers rise in popularity. Some are trying creative ways of recouping that lost revenue like the Economist’s low-cost Espresso subscription, but others will reluctantly admit that neither apps nor social channels are delivering the cold, hard cash that they need to keep going.

Many digital magazine publishers admit that they struggle (with little help from ABC) knowing how to leverage advertising in digital editions, with advertisers struggling in equal measure. Digital circulation is also causing a headache, which brings us to the next challenge:

2: Readership

A trip to the Digital Magazine Awards demonstrated that digital magazines seem to finally be getting it right…but the readership simply isn’t there. Beautiful, mobile-responsive digital editions are lying undiscovered in the app stores. Whether readers have lost faith, don’t have the space, don’t want to pay or just don’t know the magazines are there, publishers are facing huge challenges shouting loudly enough about their digital editions.

Or perhaps magazines just don’t work as digital editions. But that’s a story for another day…

3. Keeping up

Six months ago, Apple News, Google’s AMP and Facebook’s Notify simply didn’t exist outside of Silicon Valley. Now, they’re all making a grab for publisher’s time, attention and content, with each company able to reel off a list of top publishing houses as their partners for various launches.

Article-based publishing and the ‘unbundling’ of magazine content is not a new concept, but the opportunities for reach and promises of ad revenue have made Apple and Facebook tempting prospects for publishers. This raises all sorts of challenges and debates, from control of content to advertising compliance and resourcing.


Take Away

But what is your take on the three points we came up with? Have any more to add to the list? If you do, or generally want to talk digital publishing, let us know by commenting below or tweeting us.

With a global audience there is only one way to communicate and that is digitally. If as an organisation you are looking to showcase your expertise to engage your membership then going digital is no longer a choice but a necessity.

At Page Lizard we work hard to make your job easy. With our mobile platform you only create your content once. Then distribute it everywhere. To mobile, to apps, to screens, branded to the way you want with the features you need to get the job done.

As a membership organisation you are never alone with Page Lizard we help you maximise your content. We came up with 15x great reasons why you would want to shift from printing your publications to going digital, read our blog and download our e-guide to help you make sense of the digital world.

Download your free copy here

The Page Lizard team provides all the services you will need from design to hosting. Just let us know if you would like some advice on how you can accelerate the digital transformation of your business or organisation.

 

This post has been updated to reflect changes in the digital publishing industry this year.

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