Digital tools help publishers attract readers and advertisers
Smartphones have become the dominant platform for consuming most types of content. Always at hand, these portable computers are the main drivers of social media and have officially been deemed the most popular method of going online. According to business analysis company PwC, purchases of digitally published content are expected to rise to $1.4 billion in 2017.
Even though digital publishing is growing at a clip, advertisers are leery of sending their ad dollars in mobile’s direction. PwC projects digital advertising spending to grow slowly, reaching only one-quarter of all advertising spending by 2017. That’s because ad blockers are exceedingly common: estimated loss of global revenue resulting from blocked advertising in 2015 was around $22 billion. Furthermore, research has shown that consumers summarily ignore online ads when they are using their smartphones.
Crowdfunding Draws on Reader Engagement
The answer to getting published in a crowded marketplace just might be crowdfunding. Crowdfunding raises capital for a business or project via the group efforts of individual investors. Done primarily through social media and crowdfunding platforms, this method of fundraising taps into a person’s network to gain needed funds and exposure.
Crowdfunding turns mainstream business financing on its end. Instead of writing a business plan and presenting it to potential investors, or in the case of publishing, showing a finished manuscript to a publisher who might turn it into a book, crowdfunding gives the entrepreneur or the writer the upper hand. The writer presents his or her concept online and asks for people to help pay for publication by contributing any sum of money.
Does Hearing Trump Reading?
One facet of publishing that is noticeably experiencing strong growth is audiobooks. Even as ebook sales waver, consumers are drawn to books read aloud. According to the American Association of Book Publishers (AAP), audiobook downloads increased by 38.1 percent in 2015.
Confirming that trend, Audible, a service that provides access to a vast library of audiobooks in return for a monthly service fee, has reported strong growth. Audible members across the globe listened to 1.6 billion hours’ worth of audiobooks in 2015, up from 1.2 billion hours in 2014.
This trend seems curious: radio shows long ago faded from the headlines as television’s prominence grew, and the smartphones and tablets that populate our world emphasize seeing, not hearing. Why are consumers returning to listening mode?
Falling Ebook Sales Have Boosted Booksellers
The bookstore business finally heard some good news from the U.S. Census Bureau this month. Instead of continuing its expected nosedive, bookstore sales actually rose in the first half of 2016. Compared with sales in the same time period of 2015, figures in 2016 showed a 6.1 percent gain. Together, large chain stores and small independent bookstores have already yielded $5.44 billion in profit in 2016.
Compared to 2015, bookstore sales climbed every month in 2016. The shining star was June, when sales increased by 5 percent.
Bookstore sales had been dropping steadily since the onset of ebooks and e-readers. Some change was seen in 2015, when a 2.5 percent increase in bookstore sales represented the first annual gain since 2007.