Editors note: We are republishing an article by WNIP that looks into Publisher Trends 2022. This piece was originally published on What’s New in Publishing.

In the newly released Publisher Trends Report 2022 from Echobox, the AI-powered publishing solution, 47% of publishers reported declining traffic to be the most significant challenge they faced over the past year. The pressure on web traffic was mirrored by other data which showed that 73% of publishers cite increased traffic as the major priority for 2022.

Results were obtained via an online survey conducted in Q1 2022 of 30 publishers in 17 countries around the world. Respondents were mainly from news publishers and primarily in management roles or social media roles.

Subscriptions and the content that bolsters them are still major focuses for the year ahead, but when asked about the most pressing issue of the past year, declining traffic proved to be a widespread response.

Echobox Publisher Trends Report 2022

Related to the concern over traffic volumes, publishers were also worried about staying ahead of any Facebook algorithm changes, a significant factor in publishers’ referral traffic. Indeed, the platform remains by a significant distance the most important social media platform for generating referral traffic.

Conversely, only 13% reported declining ad revenues as a major concern in 2021, with fewer still citing a loss of revenue from print and live events (10%). Publishers are clearly becoming more proficient in digital and are relying far less on traditional, physical revenue streams.

The resurgence of newsletters and other findings

Other key findings from the report include: 

● Growing digital subscriptions remains important (37% of publishers).

● New content formats will continue to play a vital role in publishers’ engagement strategies, with video content, newsletters, and audio content playing a more important role this year for 63%, 43%, and 33% of publishers respectively. 

● 40% of publishers surveyed will increase the number of newsletters they offer. One-quarter of publishers who don’t offer newsletters plan to launch at least one newsletter this year. 

● 83% of publishers say Instagram will occupy a more important place in their strategy in 2022 compared to last. Instagram was the most downloaded app of Q4 in 2021, whilst its users skew towards the younger demographic. Many publishers, it appears, have an eye on the future, viewing a younger audience as a crucial component in safeguarding revenue streams.

● For two-thirds of publishers, automation is expected to play a more important role in the newsroom this year. AI is gathering pace in emerging markets as well as developed markets, with a particular focus on the automation of paywalls and subscriptions, and A/B testing headlines.

It’s clear that publishers believe automation to be a powerful tool in their arsenal for generating traffic and audience engagement. 

Antoine Amann, CEO of Echobox

The full survey results can be accessed here:
Publishing Trends Report 2022

Photo by Joshua Rawson-Harris on Unsplash