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The Future of Monetization: How Today’s Savvy Digital Publishers Are Preparing for Tomorrow

t’s an exciting time for digital publishing. Increasingly, consumers depend on digital channels for learning, entertainment, and shopping. A recent report found that as of April 2019, almost 4.4 billion people, or 58% of the worldwide population, are online.

With an ever-growing online audience, and increasing competition between content producers and publishers, digital publishers must quickly learn how to make money from their content and their platform.

If you’re wondering where to invest your time and effort when it comes to monetizing your digital content, look at what some of the world’s most savvy digital publishers are focusing on today for future financial success.

The Rise of the Subscriber

Paywalls, walled gardens, pay-to-play, whatever term you use, it’s hard to miss the growing number of subscriber and membership opportunities for online users.

During one of Adweek’s Masters of Monetization sessions, Karen Eccles, director of commercial innovation at U.K.-based newspaper The Telegraph, was upfront about how important subscribers are to her publication’s future.

“We’ve developed a subs-first approach to our readership,” she explained.

She said that the willingness of online readers, especially young people, to pay for ‘real news’ and ‘quality content’ makes serving those paid subscribers a priority over all other forms of monetization at The Telegraph.

This recurring income stream from subscribers helps smooth out the cash flow ups-and-downs that plague digital publishers.

Ramping Up Online Video

Forward-thinking digital publishers also harness the power of new video technologies to provide the visual content online users want and are willing to pay for.

As Emma Winchurch-Beale, president of World Media Group and international sales director at U.S.-based newspaper The Washington Post, explains in this ExchangeWire piece, advertisers attract new viewers with the latest technology – good news for publishers.

“The evolution of AR/AI [augmented reality and artificial intelligence] and 360 video technologies will play a part in driving revenue for publishers, enabling advertisers to literally transport customers to a destination or event; storytelling in an ever more engaging and impactful way.”

Smart digital publishers also leverage visually engaging high-quality content through platforms such as Taboola, Facebook and Instagram Stories, IGTV, and YouTube.

Platforms such as Twitch, which began as a live-streaming platform for gamers and expanded to live-streaming activities such as cooking and crafting, allow video publishers to monetize their videos in several innovative ways.

These include paid subscriptions and adding ads to the video stream to avoid ad-blocking detection.

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