FEBRUARY 4TH - 8TH 2019
STORIES: With Great Influence Comes Great Responsibility

The Future of Digital Publishing: Platforms vs. Publishers

The Future of Digital Publishing: Platforms vs. Publishers
February 28, 2017 Oluwatosin
Technology

Guest Post: The Future of Digital Publishing: Platforms vs. Publishers

By: 

The Future of Digital Publishing: Platforms vs. Publishers; The Battle for The Future hosted by Guardian Nigeria featured a panel lead by Adetomiwa Aladekomo of Ventra Media Group, Teju Ajani of Google, Perez Tigidam of The Nerve Africa and Yinka Adegoke, a Quartz Africa Editor.

With Platforms like Google and Facebook constantly changing their algorithms to ‘better understand the system’, publishers seem to be losing control over the way they operate. With most new publishers and businesses setup just for the advertisers and the advertising revenue. But Google makes an argument for itself. Google is democratizing information as well as access to that information. This means that anything is and will become available whenever it is put out. There information might not be verifiable but this is only the beginning. There are zero police, there are zero gatekeepers. This means despite the service provided by Google and their subsidiaries being free, it doesn’t mean it costs you nothing. New mindsets are formed through the types of content received from their platforms. Content they have no control over. Facebook has been getting flack for pushing out fake news but this is hardly their fault. Their algorithm is designed in a way that prioritizes information that seems popular on their platform. This means news articles with false propaganda with a lot of shares will be more visible than other articles. This comes in the time that Facebook is seen to be taking the power away from publishers as they want to maintain the unique friends and family experience. This diminishes from the advertising revenue generated from the publishers. Therefore, most publishers develop their platforms for the advertisers because revenue is extremely important.

This is where publishers like The Nerve Africa and Quartz Africa do things differently. The Nerve Africa claims to have built its website with the user in mind because the algorithms are limited, and despite claims by Facebook and Google, the platforms are not exactly democratic. The Nerve Africa and Qz focus a lot more on creating “The Authentic Editorial and Storytelling” experience. This is a shift from the traditional content as it’s more intimate. But there still exists the questions of how to make money, how to stay afloat and how to be profitable. This is where innovation steps in. The Nerve Africa does not make its primary income from advertising. There was a flagship event; a conference that began last year and would be a Pan-African experience. There also exists a design studio, which helps craft stories as well as sell “thought leadership” in a sector without compromising on integrity. These help bypass the need to develop a platform and craft content in a way that the advertisers and their platforms require for publishers to structure their work without significantly affecting SEO; Search Engine Optimization.

Qz Africa employs the same tactics as well as has an in-house engineering team that will help advertising agencies work on developing advertisements for the website without tampering with the UI and UX of the ads. The ads are extremely non-intrusive. Guardian Nigeria does a mix of everything but there exists the problem with the Nigerian and African atmosphere all together. People paying for advertising want numbers — the numbers from the banner and the text ad. They want the vanity metrics and sometimes these metrics do not display and measure brand equity. They provide useful data in identifying the users and consumers of a certain publication but they mostly don’t display the equity that companies should use to better craft their brands.

The battle between the publishers and the platforms does not seem to be ending anytime soon. Platforms like Google are constantly putting out information to discuss the futures they see in publishing because it’s an essential eco-system and they need each other for income. Publishers are consistently meeting up with the platforms to work on new means of partnerships and technologies.

Guest Post: The Future of Digital Publishing: Platforms vs. Publishers

By: 

0 Comments

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*