Globally, there has been an increase in consumption of news thanks to the evolution of digital news mediums and India is not far behind. The ever increasing market for smartphones, heightened connectivity, minimal cost of internet connections and a large youth population are ensuring proliferation of digital news more than ever. Driven by the rise in vernacular content, a more connected rural populace and increased use of mobile phones, digital news in India is expected to increase by more than tenfold over the next five years. EY’s Digital News Report 2016, a study conducted across 26 countries, noted a shift in the source of news consumption between different age groups of people. Younger sections of the society are turning to social media and other digital forms of content and are phasing out traditional mediums of news as compared to their older peers.
Short, crisp formats for lowered attention spans
In an era where people know exactly what they are looking for and at a time where marketers now have to cater to shorter attention spans, there is an immense need for immaculate storytelling skills. Digital content is meant to be quick, short and easy to consume. Hence it is no surprise that news apps and sites like InShorts and Google Newsstand are on the rise. Video as a storytelling medium not only offers the capability to condense news to the point of relevancy but also offers high-engagement space for readers and publishers alike.
Social media: reshaping news consumption
With the growing number of smartphone users, almost every news platform now offers features that enable users to share content digitally across social channels. Content, especially video, is a key focus area for social platforms. In the US, Facebook is quite the news powerhouse where 30% of the general population gets its news from, followed by YouTube and Twitter.
One size doesn’t fit all
Online streaming services like Netflix and Hulu have changed the ballgame of engaging with audiences altogether. Digital consumers now expect a personalised experience while viewing content online and on-the-go, across a multitude of channels and devices. With technology now equipping businesses with the ability to learn about website visitors, news companies now have the ability to understand their audiences’ behaviour and preferences, and deliver news tailormade to suit every individual’s interaction with the site.
Digital news consumption enhances ad spends
EY’s The Newsreel report further states that the current digital advertising industry which is estimated to be approx `62.5 billion, has the potential to grow by another 20-30% in the near future as compared with the overall advertising growth pegged at 11.7%.
In light of these projected numbers, both start-ups that are focussed on digital journalism and traditional media houses are looking to cash in on advertising opportunities over the coming years.
Not only is mobile one hell of a disruptive technology but it is also a channel that is taking over ad revenues from desktop ads. For instance, in 2015, mobile ad revenue saw a huge boost growing by 66% while desktop ad revenue only managed an increase of 5%.
Stay ahead of the game
Explore the idea of developing news content in varying formats such as videos, social media posts, infographics, blogs and podcasts, among others. They not only create novel ways of engaging with your readers but also help create opportunities to generate revenue streams. Unlike in the past, audiences now have limitless options to choose from when searching for content that suits their needs. It is therefore important to design and personalise news to delight your audiences.
Lastly, always remember to preserve the integrity of your editorial content. One must ensure these monetisation opportunities go hand-in-hand with your publication’s news and do not disrupt viewer experience. In conclusion, it is an inspiring era for us digital enthusiasts; it is time to step up and deliver experiences that enthrall.
Author is CEO of AndBeyond.Media