Building a Sustainable Future: How Publishers Can Embrace New Tech For Longevity

As the publishing industry evolves, publishers are facing new challenges in building a business that can survive the ups and downs of a rocky economy. With changing consumer behaviors, new technologies, and increased competition, it’s now more important than ever for publishers to adapt and innovate in order to remain sustainable.
To help publishers in their efforts to build a more sustainable future, this article will explore three key areas where publishers can embrace innovation. We’ll discuss the benefits of each area, and provide examples of how publishers can successfully leverage these strategies to better engage their audiences and create new revenue streams.
By implementing these approaches, publishers could be in a position to future-proof their businesses and thrive in the ever-changing landscape of digital publishing.
Let’s dive into the three new realms of technology that could offer publishers a leading edge…

1. Embracing AI for Efficiency

In today’s digital age, publishers are constantly searching for new ways to stay competitive and ensure sustainable growth. One of the key ways they can achieve this is by embracing the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI). AI has the potential to transform the publishing industry in numerous ways, from automating repetitive tasks and content building, to analysing vast amounts of user data for personalised content recommendations.
One of the primary benefits of AI for publishers is the ability to streamline workflows and reduce costs. In the near future, it may be plausible that we see publishers using AI to automate tasks such as copyediting, fact-checking, and formatting of their content. All of these potential use cases will significantly reduce the time and effort required to produce high-quality articles. This not only frees up newsrooms to focus on more creative tasks and research, but it also ensures that more content can be delivered quickly and efficiently to readers.
Another way in which AI is being used in the publishing industry is through the generation of personalised content recommendations, as mentioned above. By analysing data on reader behavior, AI can identify patterns in which content readers are interested in and enable publishers to present relevant recommendations accordingly. This not only helps publishers retain their existing subscribers, but also attracts new ones too by delivering highly relevant content to entice them to stay.
Artificial intelligence presents an opportunity to tailor personalization beyond traditional segmentation. The power of AI can discern the nuanced needs of the end-user in a way that was simply not possible with traditional personalization journeys. Companies like Spotify have pioneered this with investment in music recommendations that enhance the user’s experience of the product. This highly personal experience reflects a shifting consumer trend to the value of novelty and curated experiences through AI.Kiuran Naidoo, Senior Software Developer, Zuora 
Furthermore, AI can help publishers rapidly gain a deeper understanding of their readers by analyzing large amounts of data at speeds never previously imagined. This insight can also be used to create highly targeted newsletter and advertising campaigns that resonate with readers, leading to increased engagement and loyalty overall.

2. Blockchain and The Metaverse- New Tools for Revenue?

In today’s ever-evolving digital landscape, it’s crucial for publishers to keep up with the latest technologies in order to stay ahead of the curve. New technologies such as blockchain payments, NFTs, and virtual reality (VR) have the potential to revolutionize the publishing industry and create new opportunities for innovation and revenue.
One way that blockchain can be used in the publishing industry is through the creation of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which allow publishers to create unique digital assets that readers can collect and trade. Some publishers, such as Forkast newsThe Economist are getting involved too, selling their October ‘Alice in Wonderland’ cover as an NFT, and raising over $400,000 for charity in the process.
But as well as these novel NFT “passes” as a payment method, subscription-based businesses are also adapting to the rise of cryptocurrencies, with many offering alternative crypto payments for subscriptions. Recently, that’s included the popular publishing platform Substack, who now accept Bitcoin subscription payments from their readers.
Moreover, as we shift to a web3 digital world, VR technology also has the potential to create immersive and interactive experiences for readers, enhancing their engagement with content. Publishers can experiment with these new technologies and use them to engage with their audiences in exciting and innovative ways.
One example of how publishers are already using these technologies is The New York Times, who launched their NYT VR app as early as 2015, and have experimented with VR to create interactive and immersive experiences to enhance article content, such as a virtual reality tour of Olympic stadiums.
By embracing new technologies such as blockchain and VR, publishers can create innovative new products and services that better engage their audiences and promote sustainable growth.

3. Personalization Tech for Sustainable Engagement

Personalization has become increasingly important for creating a loyal reader base. With 74% of customers feeling frustrated when website content isn’t customized, it’s clear that audiences now demand experiences that match their interests, needs and preferences.
There are many examples of how publishers are using personalization to increase engagement and revenue. For instance, some publishers are using personalization strategies to recommend articles or products to readers based on their on-site browsing history or previous purchases. Others are using personalization to send targeted emails and push notifications to readers based on their interests and behaviors.
However publishers decide to utilize personalization, implementing a strategy requires a robust understanding of audiences. Since a personalization strategy is only as good as the data backing it up, personalization starts by collecting data on reader interests and behaviors.
By using intelligent paywalls and registration forms, first-party data can be progressively collected directly from users, and then stored, managed and analyzed in customer relationship management software (CRM). As mentioned in section one above, this data can then be analyzed with the help of AI to gain granular insights that would otherwise be impossible to identify through other means.
Ultimately, personalization means optimizing user journeys and content, ensuring that readers can not only access and navigate content on desktop, mobile and other devices, but also ensuring that the messaging they see makes sense. E.g. A student who enjoys political content sees student discounts, content related to their demographic and interests, and offers for political packages that they’re likely to find enticing.
To ensure these user journeys truly match audience segments, publishers might consider employing subscription experience tools to optimize what messaging different user groups see, and when. Subscription experience tools help marketing teams plan a step by step journey for each user segment. By doing this, the goal is for a user journey to show the right offers and messaging to users at the right time, and for the right price.

A Holistic Approach

In conclusion, building a more sustainable future requires publishers to take a holistic approach that includes embracing new and emerging technologies, leveraging AI, and intelligently personalizing content experiences. As technology continues to evolve, publishers who don’t embrace innovation risk becoming irrelevant or falling behind their competitors.
By embracing these new technologies, publishers can better understand their readers’ preferences, create innovative new products and services, and increase the relationships they build with audiences.
Ultimately, the key to building a sustainable future for publishers is to stay ahead of the curve and always seek new and innovative ways to engage with readers. By continuously creating value for users and building deeper and more immersive content experiences, publishers can keep them coming back over and over again.

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Building a Sustainable Future: How Publishers Can Embrace New Tech For Longevity

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