Key Findings of a New Trends Report Reflected in SIPA Annual Sessions

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"With many publishers launching new daily news podcasts, it is perhaps not surprising that the majority (75%) think that audio will become a more important part of their content."

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That comes from a new Reuters Institute report titled Journalism, Media and Technology Trends and Predictions 2019 where they surveyed 200 editors, CEOs and digital leaders. Fortunately, SIPA Annual 2019 has just the remedy with the session, How 3 Publishers Became Award-Winning Podcasters. It features the top three winners in the 2018 SIPAward Best Podcast category: Joseph Coleman of Coleman Publishing; Lynn Freer of Spidell Publishing Inc. and Stephanie Williford of EB Medicine.

It was gratifying to read this report and know that the majority of SIPA Annual sessions will directly address the findings. Here are some takeaways from the report and the corresponding SIPA Annual 2019 sessions:

Membership. Subscription and membership are the key priorities for the industry going forward. Over half (52%) expect this to be the main revenue focus in 2019.

High-End Premium Membership Models That Solidify Loyalty and Thought Leadership Positioning
What's Keeping You Up at Night? The Secrets to Success with the Membership Model

Target marketing. Most respondents see increased personalization as a critical pathway to the future (73%).

Extraordinary Examples From Marketing, Product Development and Sales And How To Implement Them Successfully Into Your Publishing House (Pre-Conference Workshop)

(From workshop presenter Arno Langbehn: "To get the highest attention of your customers and to achieve the highest prices for your products, be an EST-Fan. For example: the greatEST, the largEST, the smallEST, the cheapEST, the newEST and so on. When you are not the number one in the whole market, there are several ways to use EST to move up. Learn how to position and advertise every product as the number one. And you will get examples how we have done it in our company.")

AI. Over three-quarters (78%) think it is important to invest more in artificial intelligence (AI) to help secure the future of journalism—but not as an alternative to employing more editors.

Cutting Through the Hype and Unleashing the Opportunity of AI (third day keynote) 

"We always need more journalists. However we must also invest in technology to help those journalists be as efficient as possible so they can pursue the work with the highest impact. In addition, AI investments will help us serve our audiences and combat misinformation."

Lisa Gibbs, director of news partnerships, AP

Storytime. Facebook says that stories will surpass feeds as the main way people share with friends within the next year. Stories are used daily by 150 million people on Facebook, 190 million on Snapchat, and 300 million on Instagram. Google AMP stories debuted last year as an open web version that sits on top of some Google searches. These are now being surfaced in the Google News feed on Android devices—a distribution channel that will become more important this year.

Numbers Drive Engagement: Telling Compelling Stories Using Data

Technology and Partnerships. News organizations have traditionally been highly competitive at every level but could that change in 2019? More cooperation could help create the scale to counter platform power and defray the costs of ever more complex technology.

Selling Partner Products: How to Recover When the Relationship Fails
Tech-Powered, But People-Driven Publishing: a SEE Case Study

Events. Almost half (48%) of the respondents name events as an important focus for 2019 and beyond.

Event Marketing: How to Grow Your Event Registrants and Target the Right Audience
Launching a New Event and Reinvigorating Existing Ones

Staff Retention. Almost two thirds (61%) are concerned or extremely concerned about staff burnout. Retaining (73%) and attracting (74%) staff is a particular headache, given the relentless pace and pressures, and the many hats we all need to wear.

Everybody in: How to Utilize Your Entire Team When Generating New Ideas That Boost the Bottom Line
The Future of Media: Evolving Editors Into Product Managers

You can download the report here.

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Ronn Levine began his career as a reporter for The Washington Post and has won numerous writing and publications awards since. Most recently, he spent 12 years at the Newspaper Association of America covering a variety of topics before joining SIPA in 2009 and SIIA in 2013 as editorial director…