A prominent media study reported that we should “expect to see a correction in the creator economy this year. The pressure of delivering to constant deadlines on your own is relentless. Collectives and micro-companies could be a new trend for 2023.” Hebba Youssef, our Luncheon keynote at BIMS 2023, represents Workweek, which personifies this new creator economy.
“It started off with a very simple concept,” says Subha Barry, president of Seramount and a speaker at BIMS 2023, in a Working Nation video last year.
“If every employee felt like they could be their entire whole selves as they came into work—and they found a way to belong, and in that belonging felt comfortable bringing their best thoughts and ideas, their most creative abilities, their most powerful competencies, their superpower—and bring it to the office, and put it to play and use on behalf of the company, think about what that company would look like.”
Released last year, Reuters Institute’s Journalism, Media, and Technology Trends and Predictions 2023 offered prescriptions for fixing the media’s industry’s shortcomings. In the conclusion, they state that “journalism will need to emphasize its human qualities and its track record of delivering trusted content if it is to stand out from the flood of automated and synthetic media that threatens to overwhelm internet audiences.”
For that trusted content to flow, much of Barry’s dream scenario will have to come closer to reality. Here are more survey findings and the BIMS speakers who will surely propel their conversations further:
Diversify your revenue. From the study: Publishers say that, on average, three or four different revenue streams will be important or very important this year. A third (33%) now expect to get significant revenue from tech platforms for content licensing (or innovation), significantly up on last year. From Chris Ferrell, CEO, Endeavor Business Media: “We built EBM with the idea that it would be resilient. If sentiment moves away from certain products, we have many others that can take up the slack. If certain industries are struggling, then we have others that are having a good year and can make up for softness elsewhere. That is the whole idea behind diversification. It worked during Covid, and I expect it to allow us to navigate whatever 2023 throws our way as well.”
Adds Elizabeth Deeming, the former B2B SVP at Future: “There are huge benefits for publishers in diversifying revenue streams and exploring alternative avenues. At Future, we created a Future Wheel— made up of our different monetization streams—from print, advertising, video production, to e-commerce.”
Bundle your joy. From the study: An alternative approach has been to try to lock subscribers in through bundling additional features or complementary brands. From Rhonda Wunderlin, SVP, performance marketing, Questex: “Aim toward a single view of your user meaning integrating and standardizing data sources; once that is accomplished look at your gaps—research shows 60-80% of web visitors are unidentified. Then capture the intent information to serve the right content to your users via all mediums and all products. This allows you to then include new monetization opportunities—use this data for your editorial team, your product decisions, content including events and to help your customers determine how to best reach their users.”
New product launches. From the study: There is less satisfaction that products and features are being developed quickly enough—just 41% feel their company does a good job in this respect. Even fewer (23%) feel news organizations are good at shutting down old products that have less value, which tends to slow down progress elsewhere. From Sean Griffey, CEO of Industry Dive, who will receive the McAllister Top Management Fellowship at BIMS: “Long-term, I’m particularly excited about how we might jointly [along with new owner Informa] build new data products. The media and demand generation landscapes are rapidly changing. The next great company is being built today and it will leverage niche communities, first-party data, and world-class marketing services. Tying online interests and actions to in-person behaviors will create something truly unique.”
Use remote to expand your talent pool and content. From the survey: We find almost universal enthusiasm for explanatory journalism (94%) and Q&A formats (87%) this year, but less enthusiasm around ideas like ‘solutions journalism’ (73%)—let alone moves to increase the number of positive stories (48%)… Audiences want journalists to continue to cover difficult stories, and that they also want more inspiration, a broader agenda, and more fun. From Terri Travis, VP of human resources, Industry Dive: “We expect the B2B media workforce will continue to place an emphasis on accepting and welcoming remote workers. The teams that work in the digital media world can provide deeply powerful content from anywhere they like.”