Page Lizard will be speaking at one of the biggest magazine media events in the UK on May 21st!

A few months after our Digital Publishing predictions for 2015 went viral, we will be giving a talk at the PPA Festival about the changes the industry has seen so far. Here is a sneak peek of some of the subjects we’ll be covering as we explore the digital megatrends of 2015 so far.

The digital advertising explosion

Since the beginning of the year, the buzz surrounding digital advertising has multiplied to the extent that it is now a roar. Digital news sites are now constantly running stories about the boom in digital ad spending, the growth of mobile revenue and the subsequent fall in interest in print space, which is an exciting contrast to the latter half of last year where advertisers were very much ‘playing it safe’.

Companies are also looking to alternative ways to advertise, rather than through traditional banner ads. One trend that is starting to take off is native advertising – content that matches the form and function of the platform it is appearing on. This amalgamation of brand building and promotion is proving to be popular (over 41% of brands are currently trying it – see some examples here), but it is difficult to quantifiably measure the impact.

The ‘Pangaea’ alliance is possibly the biggest alliance to come forward from all this chatter. This collaboration between The Guardian, Financial Times, The Economist, CNN International and Reuters will involve them pooling their 110 million-strong combined audiences to let advertisers access and display native advertising across the group.

Facebook’s maturing relationship with publishing

If Facebook had its own profile, its relationship status would have recently upgraded to “engaged to Publishing”. A marriage is just around the corner, but whether it’ll be a match made in heaven or doomed to disaster remains to be seen in the coming months.

Zuckerberg is now in talks to get Facebook up to speed with publishing by developing a way for publishers to upload their content directly to the site – very much like LinkedIn’s ‘Posts’. The current concept means that the content will live inside the social network’s mobile app, with ads that Facebook sells (the revenue would be shared). Buzzfeed, the National Geographic and The Times are reported to be initial partners.

There is a great deal to be gained by publishing directly to sites like Facebook and Linkedin, but there are significant concerns as well – it is bringing the industry to the brink of one of the biggest changes in publishing since the launch of the smartphone. The question publishers should now be asking themselves is, ‘Which is more important, the content or the platform?’

Monetising digital content

How to make a profit on digital content has been a problem publishers have wrestled with from the start. So far, 2015 has revealed a number of interesting experiments from publishers who are successfully getting a grip on strategies to turn a digital profit; from video storytelling to innovative subscription campaigns.

One simple example is the recently-launched Акценты (Accents) – a new Russian digital magazine. The magazine comes in 2 forms: a premier version and a free ‘lite’ version which is around a quarter of the size. Adopting a similar strategy would be an excellent way of building loyalty with new users, then upselling premium content.

digital megatrends

The Buzz, 10:00 – 10:15, PPA Festival

This is merely a taster of some of the topics we’ll be covering in Digital Megatrends. Come along to the Buzz tent at the PPA Festival to hear more about developments that could take the digital publishing world by storm, from advertising alliances, Facebook deals and changing subscription models to the latest experiments in monetising digital content.

Interested in coming along to hear us? Book via the PPA Festival website. We also welcome input on Digital Megatrends and how these are affecting publishers: please contact or tweet us @pagelizard if you have any thoughts or opinions.


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