It’s that time of year again when forecasts are made for where the publishing and tech media trends are heading in 2017. So, here’s a round-up of predictions from the top commentators.

But first our pick of the favourite based on what we consider to be the five pillars of modern publishing:

1. Content: design for mobile (only)

Forget flip books and Adobe attempts at fancy interactive digital publishing, if your content is not designed for mobile, then you should improve your strategy. As Publishing Executive comments in their 2017 predictions that the digital magazine’s future should only to be designed for mobile.

As their author, Ron Mateko, comments: “Mobile drives content consumption. Think about the apps we use most often on those devices. According to comScore, more than 80% of social media time is spent on mobile devices, including more than 50 minutes per day on Facebook. And how do we use it? By scrolling through our posts. Instagram? Endless scrolling. How about Twitter and LinkedIn? Scrolling.”

This prediction is backed up by Inc. in their prediction list stating “Mobile everything… If it’s not optimized for mobile, you’re doomed from the start.”

2. Technology: publishers will finally learn how to capitalise on apps

App Annie forecasts the app economy to grow t0 $166 bn in 2017, the lion’s share of which is in-app advertising. But it believes companies will learn to incorporate mobile apps into their operations. The content drivers in apps will be video (“explodes”) and that instant apps – apps which do not require a download from an app store – will be a trend. Google Maps and Google Nearby is an increasing referrer for apps for food delivery, ride-sharing, hotel bookings, for instance. Convenience apps that do a job and don’t take up a lot of time or effort.

But some are predicting that apps will continue to shine and that we will see more innovative uses of apps in 2017. Mateko gives an example in the Publishing Executive prediction list of companion apps which support a magazine brand with functionality, like the Home and Garden’s app which lists 1,200 suppliers.

He predicts that 2017 will be the year that magazine apps enhance the print experience, and that publishers will learn to capitalise on app technology. Providing branding opportunity, extended shelf life, and multi-platform potential – app technology for print media is a trend predicted to dominate in 2017.

3. Social Media: isn’t going anywhere….yet.

Social media platforms are aware of its decline in users. So what are the big predictions for social media in 2017?  Well, there are multiple. And there are many that contradict one another.

Some say social media will adopt new strategies to maintain its importance through initiatives such as live video, multi-screen experiences or real-time news.

Twitter has found itself fighting for its survival in 2017 as user numbers decline. “Twitter isn’t going to regain its position as a preeminent social platform,” Charlie Fiordalis of Media Storm predicts on Digiday.  “It pains me to say it, because I’m an avid user, but they’ve lost the cool factor.”

One of Salesforce’s Social Media predictions disagrees: “Twitter isn’t going anywhere. Twitter is a social media legacy, and while it has struggled with declining users, it will take a lot more than that to bring down a giant.”

Although it does predict a farewell to social media platform Google+ as the constant rise of Snapchat and Instagram are set to monetize their audiences in 2017.

4. Video: it’s hard– and that won’t change in 2017 – but we’ll keep trying…

Video is undoubtedly on the rise and has enforced its importance across platforms. If the predictions for content and technology (and even social media) are correct, the role of video in 2017 will align perfectly.

Video’s relationship with publishers is based on a love-hate relationship with the hope that 2017 will release any tension between the pair. TheMediaBriefing suggest that video was one of the most difficult areas for publishers to succeed in 2016, and according to their predictions, this is expected to continue in 2017.

But video will still remain a top focus for investment amongst publishers as the distribution and possibilities holds too much potential to go without.

5. Revenue: the old methods will continue

Content advertisements will remain on news sites even though no-one likes them says The Media Briefing. But search for revenue digital subscriptions are still the publishing breadwinner in 2017, according to Publishing Executive.

The Digital publishing industry will use digital tools available to continue to grow their assets. Tools such as personalized email campaigns and social media advertising can be use to engage existing subscribers, in print and digital platforms.

And, according to Michael Rothman, founder, Fatherly: “There still will not be an efficient marketplace for content marketing..Content-marketing budgets will remain a jump ball between media, communications, social, CRM, innovation and production teams..”

Top Prediction Sources

Digiday – What’s NOT going to happen in 2017: Pundits predict the trends that won’t happen
Publishing Executive – The 4 Digital Publishing Trends to Watch in 2017, including Digital Magazine 3.0: Made for Mobile and Subscription Efforts go Digital
Inc – Top Entrepreneurship Trends for 2017 – creative co-working booming
Salesforce – Four bold social media predictions for 2017 – Twitter is OK, Google+ is gone, and there’s another new platform coming, just not sure what it is…
The Media Briefing – It’s the age of the bots and Facebook goes audio
The Drum  Predictions from marketing pundits including the rise of the angry consumer, people feel manipulated and the fastest change coming from young Muslim women.
App Annie – 2017 Predictions for the App Economy – Growth in 2017 with $166 billion being spent within mobile apps

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