Digital Publishing Trends 2018

digital publishing

Whether you’re a media company, newspaper or e-magazine and want to engage more with your readers or a (B2B or B2C) marketer looking to retain and convert your audience for your brand, digital publishing (in other words your content marketing initiatives including digital content creation and distribution) is a part of your everyday work.

It is then essential to stay up to date with the latest trends to provide your audience with an optimal experience, keeping watch of the following trends will surely help you meet their expectations and plan for your digital content strategy for months to come.

Some of these trends might not be new but they certainly have a great impact on the audience you want to reach and might help you monetise.  

Digital publishing: content production

Today’s companies are expected to provide their clients, employees or general audience with different assets, which explains the incredible surge in terms of content over the last few years. It is therefore essential to understand which format your audience will be consuming.

Longer video formats

The last 2 years have seen an incredible increase in video consumption and longer videos are becoming more and more common, Instagram is betting that people want to watch longer vertical videos by launching the new IGTV app, the mobile TV app that allows users to generate up to an hour video content, turning the social network into a direct competitor of YouTube.

Personalized content experiences

It is no secret, consistency is key to growing your digital footprint and with the quantity of content available, you ought to stand out from the crowd by giving true value to your audience. Although this is more relevant for B2B/B2C marketers, it still holds true for other digital publishers.

According to a research by Invesp, 53% of online shoppers believe that personalisation is valuable and 81% of online shoppers agree to receive more customized marketing messages. Thanks to the available technologies today, publishers are able to set a data-driven approach to better engage with their audience and turn them into loyal consumers.

Audio is on the rise

Audio is here to stay, be it through the consumption of podcasts or searches with voice assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri or Google’s voice search. Over the last years, many media entities have been expanding their offerings with audio and according to Activate, the podcast advertising revenue is anticipated to reach $642 million in 2021.

Natural language search in particular provides a new avenue for content creation. Due to the change of the nature of the search, content is on its way to adapt since the way we speak is quite different from the way we write. This could mean that instead of focusing on specific keywords, you would need to change your answer depending on how a human being would.

Mobile-first users

Needless to say, content needs to be mobile optimized, whether it is your website or a dedicated app. Adapting to mobile speed, sizes and format will continue to be a necessity. Google’s announce last March of enabling their mobile-first indexing goes to show how crucial it is to have mobile-friendly content. This means that the mobile version of your website becomes the baseline for what the search engine includes in their indexes and how they determine the rankings on the search pages.

User experience and monetisation

In 2018, the focus has shifted towards the audience more than ever before. Many publishers including the New York Times and the Washington Post have made moves into subscription products or online paywalls as an attempt to turn away from advertising business models towards the monetisation of audience loyalty. According to a Reuters Institute survey, digital subscriptions represented 44% of the revenue stream in 2018.

The aim was also to remove a third party platform and nurture a direct relationship with the audience. Publishers chose to reassess and target their core audience to better drive and monetise their engagement. Brand safety concerns and changes in consumer behaviour were the main reasons behind the choice to diversify revenue streams.

Latest tech: a brief look

Virtual and augmented reality

According the an Active forecast, AR is set to become a ubiquitous feature on smartphones, bringing it even closer to the mainstream.

Although, the use of augmented reality today is still in its early stages, many international brands proved its potential. Cosmetics market leader L’Oreal’s recent acquisition of Modiface, a company that creates custom AR beauty apps or Nike’s enhancement of their online shopping experience marks the beginning of continuous integration of AR in the user’s journey.


The decentralised ledger technology that became extremely popular due to its use with cryptocurrency, is becoming an object of interest for professionals from all industries, and digital publishers are no exception.

Beyond the hype, blockchain seems to present a solid opportunity for different scenarios, such as the startup, that aims to provide a secure platform where content can be tracked and monetised, insuring more transparency and flexibility for content creators, publishers and consumers.

Understanding these trends and using them when appropriate will surely make a difference to your audience.

Owning the right tools is also a game changer, you can check out our digital publishing solution to engage your mobile-first readers with stunning experiences while creating revenue.

Take a look back at digital publishing predictions by reading our 2016 and 2018 blog articles. You can also subscribe to our newsletter for more digital publishing blogs.