The Media Minute 08.18.2020

Publishers are at the core of the modern consumer journey. The content they create generates the majority of consumer interest and intention, yet they rarely capture a fair slice of the commercial value they produce in return. As such, publishers have always been on a quest to broaden revenue sources.

The increasing popularity of podcasts has encouraged publishers to expand their audio offerings. Many have introduced audio versions of articles. These are generally embedded above the text and allow readers the flexibility to consume articles by reading or listening.

A digital ecosystem that does not rely on third-party cookies is approaching — with Google’s Chrome deadline for retiring third-party cookies looming and iOS 14 on its way. Given these realities, the ability to track users will diminish unless alternative identity and authentication strategies are put in place.

Apple is working on bundling its paid services, including its Apple News+ digital newsstand, which carries hundreds of magazines and newspapers, Bloomberg News reported last week. The bundles likely would improve the value proposition for Apple’s customers, and may help publishers extend their reach among the millions who use iPhones, iPads and Mac computers.

Three of publishing’s most important organizations have teamed up to write a letter to the chairman of the House Antitrust Subcommittee investigating the market power of Big Tech to press their case that, over the last several years, Amazon’s growing dominance over book publishing and bookselling has fundamentally altered the competitive framework of the industry.

The impetus is Apple’s move to start requiring an opt-in for its proprietary advertising ID, the IDFA, beginning with iOS 14 in September. Without ready access to the IDFA, apps are limited in their ability to track which users click on what ads and to see if those interactions lead to an install, purchase or some other downstream action.

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