Login is restricted to DCN Publisher Members. If you are a DCN Member and don't have an account, register here.

Digital Content Next


Research / Insights on current and emerging industry topics

Publishers focused on audience, automation and video

June 13, 2023 | By Rande Price, Research VP – DCN

In today’s fast-paced digital world, media companies face intense competition across many different platforms. Echobox, a provider of social media management tools, offers new research, “Publishing Trends 2023,” highlighting media businesses’ priorities, challenges, and opportunities. The top three priorities for content companies include finding new audiences (53%), automation and AI (50%), and video content (47%). Staying ahead of the Facebook algorithm (53%), declining traffic (47%), growing digital subscriptions and diversifying revenue streams (both 34%) were commonly cited challenges.

Echobox surveyed a targeted sample of 32 leading media companies across the world. This global perspective includes respondents from 20 countries in Europe (67%), the Americas (20%), and Asia (13%).

Platform usage

Instagram emerges as a vital channel for publishers in 2023. In fact, the study shows that 66% of respondents believe Instagram will play a more significant role in their business this year. Publishers recognize the value of leveraging Instagram’s visual nature for content promotion and audience interaction.

TikTok is also gaining prominence, with 59% of publishers turning to this platform for video content distribution and audience engagement.

Media brands recognize the importance of capitalizing on the visual nature of TikTok and YouTube. By investing in video production and distribution, the report suggests that media companies can enhance their content offerings and attract a wider audience.

However, challenges persist on platforms like Facebook, primarily due to its lack of algorithmic transparency. Approximately one-third of media companies view Facebook as vital, and they want to maintain visibility and reach on this platform. Unfortunately, the opaque evolving nature of the platform requires publishers to constantly adapt their strategies, remain vigilant of algorithm changes, and seek alternative avenues to engage their target audience.

Embracing newsletters

Newsletters remain an area of growth for many media businesses. The report highlights that 56% of respondents plan to expand their newsletter offerings or start producing newsletters in the coming year. Publishers understand the value of direct communication and engaging subscribers in off-platform vehicles. By crafting compelling and personalized content in newsletters, media businesses can establish stronger connections with their audience and help drive traffic to their websites.

AI attraction

The report indicates that 63% of media companies acknowledge the growing importance of AI for their businesses. AI-powered tools and technologies offer immense potential to streamline operations, optimize content distribution, and enhance audience targeting.

Publishers can leverage AI to automate repetitive tasks, personalize content recommendations, and gain valuable insights into audience preferences. Media companies using AI can unlock new efficiencies, improve engagement, and achieve better business outcomes.

Ending third-party cookies

When thinking of the impending demise of third-party cookies in 2024, less than half of the respondents foresee a significant impact on their business. Specifically, 31% do not anticipate any effect and 13% state that they don’t rely on third-party cookies. Of the 50% of publishers anticipating significant impacts, half report they are prepared while the other half are not.

The Echobox report does highlight that, though the growth of newsletters has slowed, the first party data insights they provide does provide a means to offset the loss of third-party cookies.

Future focus

The results of Echobox’s 2023 publisher survey does show a certain amount of continuity from last year, as traffic remains a concern along with Facebook, while newsletters continue to demonstrate value. This year did see significant economic impacts as well as uncertainty around the role Twitter will play for media companies and advertisers. The report finds that publishers are investing resources in a wider array of social platforms in an effort to diversify their own audience demographics and to position themselves for increased adaptability to weather the evolving social landscape and consumer consumption trends.  

Print Friendly and PDF