The continuous challenges publishers face

With a world of content at our fingertips, is there really a future where people continue to pay for it? Includes interview with Tom Goodwin, EVP and Head of Innovation at Zenith Media.

Originally published in a special report in The Times on 22 February 2017.
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It’s been more than 350 years since newspapers began rolling off printing presses in Britain, yet despite this heritage, disruptions over just a few short years have left the industry facing a potentially bleak future.

Few would debate the importance of a free press to act in the public interest and hold institutions to account when the layman alone could not. To educate, to inform, to inspire, to challenge and to entertain. Most of us tend to start our day consuming the news and journalistic opinion in one way or another. But how we do so has changed radically.

Cast your mind back just a little over a decade, to a time before the iPhone, Twitter or Facebook. Our relationship with news and the media was, typically, with a publisher. We’d entrust a newspaper editor to curate and package content for us that would broadly be in line with our interests, in much the same way as we used to behave with music albums and TV channels before both faced their own digital disruption. And we’d then typically consume it in one or two reading occasions, be that over breakfast, during the commute or in a pub on a Sunday morning.

Today, however, our relationship with publishers and the media is radically different.

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