The future is amazing! I know this because I looked to our recent past. I see how much has changed in such a short period of time and how well newspapers, more than any other media, have embraced new technologies and new revenue models.
My prediction: more.
1. More culling. Information overload continues. There is a need for experts to provide edited content.
Newspapers become a cross between Fodor’s for travel information and the “For Dummies” series, as they create best of/top 10 lists across all topics. These provide a quick local reference from a trusted source, and they deliver targeted sponsorship for advertisers.
2. More pre-association. Newspapers begin to predict the news and trends based on analysis and buzz in social networks. They offer opportunities for advertisers to jump on a trend early and become associated with its growth. Brands to the market first tend to be the winners, so this becomes a hot, new area for newspapers.
3. More personalisation. Readers tell their newspaper what their interests are and they are served that news first or only that news. This applies to advertising, too. Readers give permission to advertisers to provide personal offers based on their pre-identified preferences.
Readers are emailed their personalised version of the newspaper to print out or read on any device they choose: click to choose the format.
4. More privacy. There’s been some backlash against everyone knowing everything – especially big media. Big Data dies. (This is the antithesis of personalisation, but both can happen at the same time).
Leading the pack, newspapers offer “privacy” versions of their electronic papers, ensuring that no one can monitor individual activities based on clicking ads/articles.
5. More deals. Newspapers focus on being the place to advertise a sale. This is embraced across all devices.
Advertisers delivering their special offer through the newspaper media have the opportunity to work in partnership with the paper: Payment for the ad is a percentage of sales, but only if both parties agree on the offer. (We become true partners in each other’s success.)
6. More buying direct. Newspapers are not just a medium but a retailer. If consumers like what they see, they buy instantly. One app allows you buy anything you see. And this is device-agnostic – click “buy” on an advertisement, and the newspaper does the transaction.
7. More technology. Wearables (glasses, watches) provide brief (sponsored) news updates – ticker style. But the move to one device for all our needs (a mobile device that projects a screen and a keyboard) allows the newspaper to become a hologram.
Paper is no longer required, as it is an iPad-style screen that is projected. It can be viewed anywhere at any time. This removes delivery and print costs and changes the whole newspaper profit structure.
8. More options. Advertising will be a part of future newspapers. And there will be new opportunities for advertisers to integrate with newspaper brands.
It will be more exciting than ever!