Changing the Channels: Understanding Media’s Next Frontier

Changing Channels: Understanding Media’s Next Frontier

In the early days of the internet, there was print. Whether you were in broadcast or print, publishing text was essentially your only option if you wanted to have a presence on the web. Suddenly radio and TV broadcasters became publishers, too.

But that changed with web 2.0, when mobile and cloud computing made it possible to reliably stream audio and video, which created a multitude of platforms for blogging, webcasts, podcasts, social media, video streaming and mobile apps. Media companies now have more than 60 platforms from which to choose to disseminate content, according to Sandeep Hulsandra, VP, Media Practice at Perfect Sense.

“The sheer number of channels, platforms and devices out there makes it incredibly overwhelming to developers. Where you distribute your content is almost as important as the content itself,” Hulsandra said in a recent webinar, Why Personalization Is Media’s Next Frontier.

How to Thrive in the
Omnichannel Chaos

Different audiences access information through different channels and platforms. Millennials and post-millennials are more likely to consume content through mobile apps and streaming services, while older users may gravitate to traditional formats such as print and TV-based programming.

Consumers also switch channels depending on the device they’re using, so media companies need to develop multichannel strategies that deliver an omnichannel experience. This doesn’t mean every publisher should be on every platform, but rather the ones that make sense based on audience preferences.

Platform Selection

Deciding which channels to participate in starts with a key consideration: choosing a publishing platform that integrates with the content channels you intend to use. Without seamless integration, you may end up with separate silos that create a lot of work to share information across multiple channels.

Inevitably, the question of whether to build or buy a content publishing platform will come up. Developing the technology in-house may be more attractive to a company with high customization needs. But it also means hiring and retaining in-house developers with the requisite skills and knowledge to create a platform that meets your needs while keeping up with technology advances.

A platform that cannot absorb new features and functions will put you at a disadvantage against competitors. Currently, there’s a strong emphasis on employing artificial intelligence (AI) to train algorithms that match content with users. Because AI remains in its infancy, there aren’t many experts you can recruit to develop AI applications internally.

For most companies, buying a platform is the advisable course of action. Then you have to decide which vendor delivers the best value, functionality, scalability, customization and third-party integration.

You want a platform vendor that shares its technology roadmap so you can plan for future added functionality. The vendor should be open to customer feedback and offer reasonable time to market. These days it shouldn’t take more than 90 days to migrate to a platform. Any longer, and you risk launching services on technology that’s already outdated.

What Viewers Want

Selecting content channels shouldn’t be done in a vacuum. You must figure out what types of content your audience is looking for. Viewership data and website usage metrics can clue you in on the types of content your audience wants. If you already use multiple channels, the data also will tell you how your audience prefers to consume your content.

Video is especially popular now. It’s expected to account for 82% of all IP traffic by 2021, according to a 2017 Cisco report. Pew Research Center has found that 46% of Americans prefer to watch their news vs. 34% who prefer reading. If you produce video content, consider whether an over-the-top (OTT) strategy makes sense for some of it, instead of just relying on your website and traditional content providers.

Also, how effective is your social media strategy? Roughly two-thirds of Americans (68%) consume news through social media at least occasionally, according to Pew. And don’t forget that audio is making a comeback, thanks to digital assistants like Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri and Google Assistant. You also need to think about mobile apps and the types of content your audience likes to access with their mobile devices.

See Brightspot in Action

Whichever investments you choose to make, be sure there’s a large enough audience to support the investment, said Bob Kempf, VP, Digital Services at Boston public broadcaster WGBH. Don’t lose sight of what you are to your audience, he advised.

Speaking at the Why Personalization Is Media’s Next Frontier webinar, Kempf said that as WGBH looked to upgrade and personalize its digital experience by deploying Brightspot’s enterprise CMS to modernize its content delivery, it was clear that viewers gravitate to WGBH primarily for video content. Audio and text came in second and third, respectively. Knowing that has helped Kempf and others at the preeminent public broadcaster develop a strategy to optimize channel programming that makes the most sense to its audience.

Finding Your Perfect Platform Fit

As media companies and other businesses look ahead to the digital landscape of tomorrow, in order to remain competitive, it’s crucial they recognize the importance of delivering a personalized, omnichannel experience to their audiences. Identifying a modern CMS is key to achieving that goal.

The following resources can help you determine which solution is the best fit for your business needs:

With the Brightspot CMS, migrating to a modern platform can take just a few months, at a lower cost than a pricey, year-long overhaul. To learn more about how this next-gen platform can revolutionize the way you publish content and engage with your consumers, request a demo today.

About the Author
Brightspot Staff
Brightspot is an enterprise publishing platform that drives innovation in web and mobile development for corporations worldwide. Behind Brightspot is a team that loves to talk about every aspect of our platform and today's digital publishing landscape.
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