Audience Engagement Digital Publishing
3 mins read

The must-read publishing stories you may have missed this week

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Fortune becomes the latest publisher to put up a paywall, how robots are being used in newsrooms, and more

The robots are here to help

There are frequent predictions about the rise of robot journalism, and how robots will inevitably have us all out of a job in the next decade. But the reality of robots in the newsroom is proving to be quite different…for now.

Automation, AI, machine learning and other robo-led processes are rapidly becoming ingrained in the publishing business, and are helping publishers make greater use of personalisation, draw on data to automate routine reporting, and spot trends. Far from stealing our jobs, automation is, in fact, helping us to do them better.

This week, Damian Radcliffe rounds up seven ways robots are being used by publishers and newsrooms. It’s not a trend that is going to go away, but the better we understand it, the less we have to fear, and the more we can explore ways to harness the power of automation in publishing.


What’s new this week

Seven ways robots are being used by publishers and newsrooms

For some publishers, automation is already a reality, as the technology – and the potential it affords – becomes increasingly mainstream. With that in mind, here are seven uses worth highlighting.

Fortune becomes the latest publisher to put up a paywall
US business and technology magazine Fortune has become the latest prominent title to put up a paywall, as publishers double down on reader revenue.
AI and automation increasingly impacting the media business
Automation is increasingly infiltrating the fourth estate and impacting how media companies gather, report, deliver, and even monetize the news.
Publisher doubles-down on audience engagement to grow subscription revenue
In 2016, The Philadelphia Inquirer began its shift towards focusing on digital subscriptions. Here are some key ideas that can be adapted by other publishers.
Instagram launched a digital magazine
Earlier in May, Instagram launched a series of digital-only Insta-zines that aimed to help students around exam season, with mental health support and advice.
Key tools for driving subscriptions in 2019: Dynamic paywalls, newsletters, and sports subs
FIPP’s 2019 Global Digital Subscription Snapshot Report gives an overview of publishers who have been successful in growing their digital subscriptions into a significant revenue stream.
BBC Countryfile and BBC Wildlife magazines join the sustainable wrapping ranks
Immediate Media have announced that they will be wrapping all future copies of BBC Countryfile and BBC Wildlife magazines in recyclable paper wrapping. 
How New York’s Social Life magazine diversified into events
Whilst the publication has been hit like everyone else in terms of circulation (down to 45,000 at the last count), the independent publisher has seen overall revenue grow.
Google Chrome cracks down on tracking cookies: What publishers need to know
Last week, the company announced three protections that will soon be coming to the world’s most widely used web browser.
87% publishers positive about native advertising: WAN-IFRA report
The research also found that participants’ native ad revenues grew from 11% of their total ad revenues in 2015 to 19.7%% in 2017.
Content marketing vs native advertising: For publishers, what’s the difference?
Most brands and publishers are pulling away from ads and investing larger portions of their budget in other tactics that will help them reach customers in a non-obtrusive way.
Europe’s podcast evolution: “An exciting prospect”
On the whole, around 28% of Europeans had listened to a podcast within the last month when the Reuters Institute of Journalism polled respondents across fifteen different countries.

Download WNIP’s comprehensive report—50 Ways to Make Media Pay—an essential read for publishers looking at the multiple revenue opportunities available, whether it’s to reach new audiences or double down on existing super-users. The report is free and can be downloaded here.