Experts opinions and predictions for digital publishing: today and tomorrow


While working on new features of digital publishing tools enabling conversion from paper to digital magazines, we never stop reflecting about today’s challenges and future developments in the e-magazines world. And we also try to be in tune with experiences, predictions and ambitions of our publishers partners.
As a part of our latest mini research we asked press experts to reflect on:

  1. What’s new in publishing?
  2. What are the latest digital magazine trends?
  3. What will be the face of digital publishing in the next 1, 2 or 5 years?

And below are some of our findings.

Quality, profitable, automatic, social and mobile

Amongst their reflections, we uncovered 5 common themes.

  1. Mobile needs to start bringing results and ROI

“Today’s editors regret their chaotic and disjointed decisions from the past. They need to start taking mature steps that bring results. Mobile technology for publishing needs to enable linking with Big Data to help editors offer relevant services to readers. It also needs to enable providing deeper emotional engagement, ROI (return on investment), knowledge exchange and multi-platform distribution.”

Arzhur Caouissin, consultant

“Publishers keep on struggling with their business models so they are forced to keep on changing. Many understood that it makes no sense to give content for free hence more and more pay-models are popping up.” Christian Graf, CeeQoo
Digital is still secondary when it comes to publishers priorities which is not surprising when paper magazines are still key revenue drivers. Technological transformation is expensive: in terms of financial costs but also human investment. And ROI is still low. When digital changes are done on small scale, they won’t bring the required results.” Alain Collard, e-concept

  1. Editorial process must change

“The key challenge is how to establish content creation process that is financially viable, meets readers needs and offers mobile reading experiences easily and fast. This requires a new editorial vision and partnership between editors as opposed to ongoing competition. Nowadays ways of working are still old school, despite of ongoing digital transformation.  They are still stuck in the ‘paper’ era.“ AC
“Digital editors need to evolve ways of working to meet readers’ expectations. Today’s audiences want to “create” their own magazines based on a various sources of information. Therefore press publishers  should offer them news flux tools with stunning graphical interface”. AC

  1. Readers demand optimal user experience

“Digital tools enable us to test different options when it comes to reading experience and navigation. Unfortunately this quite often means that certain publications end up full of gimmicks.” Marie Merle, Vivio
“Nowadays iPads can offer visual world discovery for readers even when they are sedentary  at home. But audiences are demanding. Reading flat PDFs on their devices is not going to meet their emotional needs. But contrarily, a quality mobile app can delight their digital taste buds. To give you an example a wonderful ‘Orchestra’ mobile app (created by TouchPress) allows discovering musical band sounds, vibrations and instruments thanks to the interactive multi camera video content.” AC

  1. Smartphones drive transformation

“Smartphones is where you can reach your Users/Customers/Clients from the moment they wake up until they go to sleep at night. Combined subscriptions models with print and other digital magazines are a good way to increase engagement. And many understood that digital publishing need most times a different approach than print publishing as user behaviours significantly differ.” CG
“There are lots of factors to take into account when it comes to novelties in digital publishing. Key one to mention is accessibility of magazines on varied devices (PCs, tablets and smartphones) and ability to move from one platform to another without interrupting the readers’ experience (remaining on the same page).”  Patrick Dhont,  Le Nouveau Lire
“In 5 years, 80% of editorial content will be consumed on smartphones while we will continue seeing PCs and tablets’ decline. This trend will be increasing and therefore tools and interfaces need to continue evolving. For example, large chunk of today’s content apps are far too complex for users.” AC

  1. Social media cannot be overlooked

“In terms of latest trends in the industry, it’s important to remember that publishing to channels like Facebook Articles, Google News, Snapchat has arrived.” CG
“Key trend when it comes to publishing is content accessibility (available on all channels and devices) and accuracy (always up to date). This is something that has never been feasible with paper magazines. This is also linked with interactivity through images, videos and sound features and social sharing links.” PD

And what about the future?

As a part of our mini survey we asked editors about next 5 years in the industry and their dream projects. And what did we discover?

  • Bring back paper

What if digital tools could be offered low cost to enable editors creating and selling high quality glossy paper magazines?

  • Editorial teams reshuffled

To be able to create digital reading of the future teams will need to be merged. Journalists, developers, designers and programmers all working as one team working in the open space office.  

  • Connected IOT content

Imagine content created and served depending on the readers circumstances and environment? Make it a film to go with a pizza dinner or reading about dieting just before looking for a scale to check the weight?

  • Animated content taking over static reading

Technical advances will make space and time for editors to deliver more and more engaging and appealing experiences.

  • More automation

Future will see more automated process: aggregated content, publishing out of content feeds and most importantly using quality content management systems allowing to manage all channels.

  • Skim read

Reading and writing content will be changing to allow for more and more skimming through the text. Readers will be digesting mainly text, headlines and summaries, thanks to multiple ad hoc buttons sprinkled across digital articles.
Thank you
We would like to thank you all our co-authors for their input, time and invaluable predictions. Amongst our publisher experts who took part are: Arzhur Caouissin, Swipe & Swipe;  Christian Graf, CeeQoo; Alain Collard, e-concept; Patrick Dhont, Le Nouveau Lire; Marie Merle, Vivio.


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