Q&A 

Publishing outlook: 5 minutes with… Rich Cheary

With the vaccine rollout gathering pace, what are the opportunities and challenges facing publishers? We grab five minutes with Rich Cheary, CEO at Publisher's Toolbox, to get his views.

By Rich Cheary

Publishing outlook: 5 minutes with… Rich Cheary

Q: What impact has the Covid crisis had on the process of digital transformation?

A: Overall, Covid has had a very positive impact on digital transformation across multiple industries, by making it a vital point of discussion and planning at the boardroom table.

What was once a rolling agenda item or a clichéd strategic goal of many businesses is now being prioritised and invested in as an accelerated necessity and critical component to the business’ survival or sustainability going forward.

Q: With remote working, what have been the main production challenges publishers have faced?

A: Nothing too different from other businesses that never planned for a situation whereby secure and reliable remote accessibility for team members to platforms and media assets would be required.

For instance, it would have been very challenging for media teams within the publishing and broadcast industries to operate effectively if their digital workflow operations were dependent on physical infrastructure and network drives.

Those groups who had looked ahead and migrated their workflow dependencies to a cloud-based ecosystem - with key components being a searchable DAM, digital-first headless CMS and video distribution platforms - would have been in a much more comfortable position to react to the remote working reality.

Q: In terms of new product development and revenue diversification, where do you see the greatest potential for publishers?

A: When it comes to today’s media consumer, video is king, and it’s easy to see why. Readers want “snackable”, easy-to-digest content that entertains as well as informs. More and more, monetisation strategies are relying on compelling video content to attract digital engagement, and ultimately subscriptions and increased revenue.

By establishing your own video OTT ecosystem that is configured to your requirements and protects your digital media IP, publishers can provide on-demand or live streaming across multiple touch points to reach the widest possible audience – whether via a web-based microsite or full web integration, or via an in-app video player or video OTT mobile app – while allowing you to tailor your video content per platform.

A branded video OTT network can be configured for syndication, distribution and subscription services, helping you achieve the maximum ROI for your archived video content.

Q: Assuming that post-Covid, there will be a greater mix of home and office-based working, what are the implications for publishers?

A: Publishing and remote work have always gone hand in hand. Whether it is reporters chasing stories out in the field, or editors commissioning content freelancers, who submit from anywhere in the world.

So, I think it’s a bit disingenuous to say that Covid has suddenly forced publishers to adapt to the new remote reality when it’s been a part of the business since its inception.

Establishing the platforms for simple, sustainable digital media workflow is what it’s all about, ensuring your content editorial teams can collaborate and distribute media in real-time, and publish to multiple digital properties via digital CMS, whether you’re in your home office or sitting on a beach.

Protecting and centralising your valuable digital assets in the cloud is also crucial, providing authorised access to your teams from anywhere in the world, at any time.

Q: When considering workflow changes, what key criteria should publishers be using to assess the efficacy of the proposed changes?

A: Ultimately, whatever platform solution, the scalability of your ecosystem is key.

The beauty of cloud-based infrastructure built on world-class services like AWS is in its infinite scalability. If you’re relying on anything else, how confident are you that it will deliver in high traffic peaks, and how much continual financial investment will be required to ensure your ecosystem keeps pace with business and audience growth?

That’s why most publishers are making the switch to SAAS solutions, as they know platform development is taken care of and risk minimised.

Q: As we start to emerge from Covid, what do you see as the main opportunities and challenges facing publishers?

A: I think Covid-19, no matter what industry you operate in, has brought a lot of great ideas to the fore, and for many businesses, the realisation and belief that they can adapt and can innovate, not only to survive, but to thrive in the future.

‘Innovation’ is a word that gets thrown about like confetti but the reality is it is no longer some abstract concept, but a business necessity. When sponsors and advertisers look at the potential of partnering with publishers, they’re looking for uniqueness and value. If you have nothing better than banner and pre-roll advertising to offer, don’t expect advertisers to break down your door.

Technology trends, like user generated content and augmented reality, are changing the way publishers connect with readers and provide an opportunity for your advertisers / sponsors to better position themselves with your community.

Integrating new technology into your digital content strategy will bring with it an inevitable teething period, but can be overcome through a partnership-based approach. Let your direct advertisers know you want to work with them for the long term to ensure they connect with your audience meaningfully – by providing a platform that creates unforgettable interactions.

...affordable content and community creation tools for small and large teams...

About us

Having become a leader in the digital transformation of media groups, Publisher's Toolbox is making an impact as a reputable, reliable and professional global innovator of digital media products and services.

Our mission is to provide affordable content and community creation tools for small and large teams, allowing them to compete with some of the world’s most prestigious media groups and brand agencies.

Our unique suite of digital products have helped traditional publishing, brand and broadcasting agencies, educational institutions and sports organisations establish sustainable content ecosystems through incentivised community engagement across print, mobile, video and augmented reality.

Web: www.publisherstoolbox.com

Email: richard.cheary@publisherstoolbox.com

Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/company/publisherstoolbox

Twitter: @PubToolbox

Facebook: www.facebook.com/publisherstoolbox