Consumer power, social media and monetisation challenges are meaning that newspapers and other content providers must evolve rapidly or risk going out of business, according to a new report released today.
The Future of Online Content Report from user experience consultancy, Webcredible, predicts that traditional content providers must take a broader, user-focused approach to content delivery or face a threat to their very existence.
The prolific growth in recent years of blogs, feeds and social networks, not to mention smartphones, has posed great challenges for content providers. The report identifies these advances as responsible for the handing over of control, from the provider to the consumer, over how content is consumed, paid for and even what it is.
The 2011 Future of Online Content Report looks at previous and existing attempts at content monetisation, including paywalls, micropayments and ad revenue. It suggests that micropayments are only likely to work for entertainment content and most other content types need to be looking to use a combination of well-planned payment models and targeted ad revenue, rather than just a blanket ‘pay for everything or nothing’ approach.
The report concludes that it is now more important than ever that content is designed with the user in mind. Users need flexible offerings because they operate in different contexts, they have multiple goals and motivations, and different preferences, so content providers must consider the immediate environment, culture, social context and the context of the web itself. There is no killer device or delivery method that can satisfy all of these requirements, so content providers need to take a broader approach.
Trenton Moss, director at Webcredible comments, “The proliferation of new content is one of the key driving factors for change on the internet. Major newspapers like the Times have put up paywalls on all content and it remains to be seen how successful this approach will be. I would suggest that high quality news content will need to use a combination of targeted ad revenue and the development of payment models that are compatible with the inclusive, interactive nature of the web to stay ahead.”
He continues, “What’s clear is that content consumers have more say in this now than they’ve ever had before, and content providers and technology designers must ensure that they deliver the content people most want in the way they want it.” The 2011 Future of Online Content Report is an opinion-based analysis of the current online and mobile content space including predictions regarding monetisation, carried out by Webcredible.
A full copy of the report can be downloaded from www.webcredible.co.uk/futureofcontent.
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