January 4, 2016 | Lucy Tozer
2015 has been an eventful year for the digital publishing industry. With increased revenue invested in advertising and maximising user engagement, the emergence of ad blockers created a furore amongst publishers worldwide.
The demise of Apple’s Newsstand and the launch of the News app was also an adjustment for publishers, with many initial concerns over subscriptions and incoming revenue. This year has also been particularly successful for mobile, with industry research also showing a universal growth in mobile media consumption ahead of desktop, along with a surge in mobile ad rates.
So, with the arrival of 2016 we thought it would be an ideal time to collate a set of industry predictions with exclusive forecasts from PageSuite’s senior management team. We anticipate further developments across advertising with the focus remaining on enriching the user experience and increased expansion of the geo-location market. We also envisage growth of digital solutions for Windows platforms and increased battery life across devices.
Nathan Parrett, PageSuite Founder, says “I expect to see big launches from HTC, Samsung, LG and Sony to take on the upcoming iPhone 7. We will see a rise of 4k screens from other manufacturers. We may well see the big 4 take on Apple with a new version of their TV modules. TV Apps will become bigger and will see a substantial growth. Expect to see some publishers experiment with them…
I expect Windows 10 to have a whole new range of 2 in 1s to take on the superb Surface range. There will be an answer to Apple/Google from Microsoft with its competitor to Apple News/Google News. I expect to see a big take up from Google’s AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) project too.
There will be more SDKs/APIs to be integrated into apps. HTML5 will become a bigger business and Flash will start to become redundant by the end of the year, as companies invest money to remove Flash from their business. We will launch our new reader shortly that is HTML5 only.
The smart watch arena will become even more fragmented and Apple will launch a successor to their Apple Watch. Battery life on phones and watches will be optimised further. Laptops/Tablets will need to break the 12 hour mark to be successful. Smart watches will have an improved battery life and we will see a rise of built-in GPS in watches. We may also see a Surface Phone… although I expect that in 2017”
PageSuite’s CEO, Ross Murphy, forecasts his set of industry expectations, “I predict further developments with fast charging batteries, pushing 60% in 2 minutes being made available for mobile use. I think there will be more location based marketing seen through mobile, with both large and small geo fences from mobile and iBeacon technology. I also see small businesses adopting mobile first strategies, as the technology previously only associated with the large enterprise applications becomes more readily available to more business owners.”
Ben Edwards, SVP of Business Development, says “I think newspaper advertising sales execs will grasp online & app opportunities, which will see richer and more engaging display and native adverts across digital, mobile and tablet channels.
I’d also like to see some bigger dailies or magazines try a lower cost and longer-term digital or app-only subscription point. For example, a few pounds for a couple of months just for the iPhone app just to target the digital-first, predominantly younger-commuter audience who don’t have the time to sit back and read every day for 40 minutes. This would get them used to paying for something that provides value to dip-in and dip-out. From personal experience, I feel guilty if I don’t read my new paid-for digital publication of choice. I also feel a barrier to entry if the price is either too high or the offer length is less than a month.”
Our SVP of Sales, Chris Took, predicts “2016 will be the year that Windows phone and tablets really take off – obviously the market is dominated by iOS and Android but I think Windows will break out of the 2-3% market share and be close to double this by the end of 2016 (with a continuing upward trend).”
Jason Pyne, SVP of Operations, says “2015 I feel has shown a seed change with consumers reading news content and digital editions on a mobile phone more than a tablet. Consumers are becoming more intuitive with the use of the Windows Surface environment and large devices such as the iPad Pro.
For the year ahead, I see the same growth and the continued evolution of how publishers engage with their audiences and the content they deliver in a digital environment. I see targeted content and localized engagement gaining significant traction on the GEO fenced push market as well and iBeacons and targeted market hotspots. Even more than ever the phone, I believe, will be the first choice device for consumers and publishers to drive traffic and embrace the commercial opportunities this can bring.”
Within the last decade, the digital publishing industry has rapidly evolved and we are really looking forward to seeing further growth in the coming year. We are interested to know your thoughts too, feel free to send us your predictions via Twitter, using the handle @PageSuite and hashtag #PageSuitePredictions.