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  • John Wilpers

White Paper: The Future of Media in post-COVID world

Updated: Nov 7, 2021


The pandemic was a super-charged Darwinian event.


It accelerated change and rendered some things extinct much sooner than might have otherwise been the case. But at the same time, it enhanced the future of the members of the media species that adapted to the new media ecosphere.


The differentiators between extinction and survival? Flexibility. Compelling content not available anywhere else. Paywalls. Reader-centricity. An innovative culture. Diverse revenue streams. Engaged audiences. Strategic use of the platforms and a variety of different media.


In this white paper, we examine each of those differentiators and many more.


Surviving and thriving in the post-pandemic world begins internally with a culture that is not only innovative, but also mission-focused, experimental, flexible, and respectful of team members and their input. The road to creating a successful corporate culture in the new hybrid work era is lined with landmines, but it is also loaded with new opportunities for more diverse, more motivated, and more talented workforces.


Financial sustainability was already a dicey challenge pre-COVID. Companies producing undifferentiated content for unengaged audiences on the back of display advertising were doomed in the long run. That long run was shortened to a mattar of months. The companies that were already diversified were able to adapt and diversify further — bolstering streams that were working (subscription-driven newsletters), pivoting on streams that had to change (live events to virtual events), and adding new or enhancing existing streams that fit the moment (e-learning, clubs, and e-commerce).


Publishers who were already creating unique content found readers willing and eager to pay for it. Readers reacted positively to long-form journalism, while also finding utility in quick-hit, information-packed short-form pieces and graphic-only content. Video in all its glories — searchable, animation, personalized, live, interactive, social media (Tik Tok), etc. — flourished.


Print publishers, while taking the expected hit from newsstand shut-downs, pivoted to a strategy of increasing quality and price while decreasing frequency, and they found ready, hungry, and growing audiences

Audiences also began to reward media companies who engaged in and promoted their sustainable activities by voting with their subscription fees and donations for corporate environmental responsibility.

All told, while recognizing the tragic consequences for so many companies and their staffs, the media industry is coming out of the pandemic poised for a better future than before … if we can embrace the lessons we’ve learned.


To read the full white paper, go to the global media association, FIPP, by clicking here.

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