Fundamental shifts in the way consumers receive and consume information are changing the way that content producers and brands are engaging and building audiences. With the advent of real-time news feeds on Facebook and Twitter, mobile/tablet experiences like Flipboard, aggregators such as Techmeme, and feed-readers like Google Reader and Feedly, consumers are feasting on a fast-moving stream of information and looking beyond individual publications as gospel.
Audiences are consuming content differently, too - over the course of their day people are snacking on content while at work or on mobile, while at the same time we're seeing a resurgence in long-form services like Instapaper, Goodreads, and Readability. New publishing models and services have emerged from these shifts, and it's no surprise that the successful ones are embracing these changes.
Smart publishers understand these fundamental shifts and are optimizing their publishing formats, editorial approaches, and technology platforms to feed this new consumption model. Winning examples include Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, Business Insider, LinkedIn Today (along with its Pulse acquisition), as well as newer sites like Rafat Ali's Skift.com, Jason Hirschhorn's Media ReDEFined, and Cox Media's Rare.us. On the brand side examples include Intel HQ, Pepsi Pulse, Adobe's CMO.com, and HSBC's Business Without Borders, to name a few.
The premise of these properties is on the insight that they deliver media not only cross-platform (e.g., web, mobile, social, email) but also cross-content format (e.g., original, curated, aggregated/automated, and licensed). They've optimized their content mix across formats and platforms - which is proving to be a highly effective and efficient formula for success.
So how might a publisher or content marketer go about embracing these shifts, and take a modern portfolio management approach to content?
Publishing models and audience development will continue to shift over time as new platforms emerge and consumers' tastes change. But if you stick to the fundamental that quality content mixed into the right channels, in the right format, at the right time, powered by flexible technology is a winning model, then you'll be set up for long-term content success.
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Matthew has worked in the software and Internet industry for over 18 years and has extensive experience building data, content, and publishing-oriented digital businesses.
Prior to founding PublishThis, Matthew served on the executive management team at Edmunds.com, where as EVP, Media he was responsible for helping grow the Internet's leading automotive site from 2001-2008. While at Edmunds, Matthew oversaw the company’s flagship website, Edmunds.com and led product development for the company's successful web expansion, including its syndication platform that powered the automotive channels for AOL, The New York Times, iVillage, and About.com.
Before that, Matthew helped develop and grow The Studio System, the entertainment industry's premier film and television database. Matthew started his career at Andersen Consulting and received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas in Austin.
March 19, 2014