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Newspaper publishers' lay out their investment priorities by @damianradcliffe from @NewspaperWorld PLUS Which products are hot and which products are not amongst publishers

Newspaper publishers' lay out their investment priorities by @damianradcliffe from @NewspaperWorld PLUS Which products are hot and which products are not amongst publishers
Damian Radcliffe has published another chapter of the WAN-IFRA World Press Trends report on Medium, and it clearly lays out investment priorities that publishers are setting for the next year, and it also has some excellent background on the shift to product-led growth or at least product development at major news publishers. The investments in technology are very focused with a focus on analytics and better CRM systems. CRM is a lot like CMS, there is no such thing as a system that makes everyone happy. But companies are getting much better with them.
Speaking of technology, Nieman Lab looks at how the Toronto Star is determining which stories should be automated, and we have pieces about forays into the metaverse by Forbes and Asian publishers. While INMA says that in terms of products, the metaverse is losing traction with publishers. So what products are they interested in? Audio.
Programming note: I’m taking next week off for the first break that didn’t involve moving this year. I’ll see you in a week after some much-needed R&R. See you soon!

What types of local news stories should be automated? The Toronto Star is figuring it out | Nieman Journalism Lab
An interesting look at TorStar’s automation of basic crime stories and health department reports about restaurants with a review of other automated efforts such as the LATimes’ QuakeBot. As I have said before, I would much rather have a robot write a basic, formulaic report than treat a reporter like a robot.
Investment and Expenditure: WAN-IFRA World Press Trends 2021–22 | by Damian Radcliffe | Damian Radcliffe | Nov, 2022 | Medium
With economies around the world facing economic headwinds due to the inflation unleashed first by the pandemic and now Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the priorities that publishers are setting for the next year are all the more interesting. Damian found that the top three priorities were:
1) Data Analytics
2) Product Development
3) Customer Management Systems
I think the focus on product-led growth is also interesting, and as he highlights, this shift is both a business but an organisational and cultural shift as well.
Damian’s comment that competition for attention is greater than ever resonates with me. He has some excellent data on the topics that people are showing increased interest in based on data from Readly.
Alabama newspapers go all digital
Aron Pilhofer
Wow, this is a really big deal. The Alabama Media Group is one of the most innovative news orgs in the country, and that's likely what gives them the confidence to go all-digital. This is one to watch.
As Aron says, it will be interesting to see how this shift to digital plays out. The Alabama Media Group is part of Advance Local, the Newhouse’s newspaper group. They have tried an all-digital strategy before with the Ann Arbor News in Michigan. They might have moved too quickly at that time, but with rising print costs and much more deeper smartphone adoption
NBC News, Washington Post, SmartNews apps retool content packaging ahead of midterms - Digiday
As I have said, personalisation will be one of the major themes of Pugpig’s upcoming State of the Digital Publishing Market report, and in this overview of things that news providers are planning for the US midterms next week, it is interesting to see SmartNews get a mention of their personalised news delivery. Personalisation means so many different things to different companies, and with personalisation also being a part of calls-to-action and conversion strategies, we’ll see much more of this in the next year or two as publishers have already converted most of the low-hanging fruit in their audiences.
The metaverse, NFTs, blockchain and product priorities
Forbes in the metaverse: Why business mag has built a party boat in Sandbox virtual world
The magazine has set up an exclusive members-only space in the metaverse complete with a wearable NFT ticket to enter. This piece is one to bookmark because it not only covers Forbes’ efforts but has a good glossary of terms relating to virtual worlds plus a review of virtual spaces that have gone before.
What publishers can learn from first news media Web3 experiments - WAN-IFRA
WAN-IFRA looked at projects that Asian publishers have launched using Web3 technologies using NFTs and other blockchain technologies. WAN-IFRA has also launched a project with major news organisations including Reuters, Mediahuis, Groupe Les Echos  and Condé Nast to foster Web3 projects that grow revenue and foster trust.
INMA: Product trends: Audio is in, the metaverse is out ... at least for no...
Meanwhile, INMA says that metaverse has lost favour in terms of product priorities for publishers, while audio, video, AI and machine learning are top priorities.
Why you can’t afford to ignore Apple News · One Man & His Blog
Apple News is now more popular than BBC News in the UK. Adam Tinworth highlights what publishers need to do about that.
Micropayments: The missing link to faster digital subscriptions growth | What’s New in Publishing | Digital Publishing News
I’m deeply sceptical of micropayments for news, but we’ll see if there is a new wrinkle that will finally make them attractive to audiences.
Gannett reports that its financial results are improving – slowly - Poynter
I think the emphasis here is slow. They are still losing millions despite job cuts and forced furloughs. They are heading into choppy economic times, and they have a lot of debt to clear.
Meanwhile in the UK, this looks a lot like the move that created the new Gannett in the US, when a smaller scale-player gobbled up a larger one. If this goes forward, it will most likely leave whatever is left with the same kind of ugly debt load that the new Gannett has. If this happens, it will mean a very high level of concentration of ownership in the UK newspaper market.
Did you enjoy this issue?
Kevin Anderson, Consulting Services Director, Kaldor/Pugpig.

Digital transformation and product development with a media focus.

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