“The future of publishing is entering a new golden era that will make publishing available to more people. Twitter, new long-form content distributers and an increase in digital ad spending will support this new era.”
These are the predictions of Issuu CEO Joe Hyrkin as he shared his views on digital publishing in 2014 and beyond on Gigaom.com last week.
The three key areas he raises – Twitter as a gateway to long form content; special-interest communities around niche content; and an increase in digital ad spending – show a maturation of the digital publishing industry that is good for publishers, authors and readers.
Regarding Twitter, Hyrkin suggests that worry about readers developing an aversion to reading anything longer than 140 characters is unfounded. “Rather than replacing articles and other long-form features, Twitter is often used to promote them – providing a 140-character tip of the iceberg that points to the rich content experience lurking below the surface. “
It’s a refreshing point of view, and acknowledges that social sharing platforms can and do offer publishers another opportunity to engage with their audience in meaningful ways.
Hyrkin also points out the book industry has in no way been destroyed by the advent of digital publishing. He cites the New Republic’s book sales figures that show only a slight decline (from $5.2 billion in 2008 to a still very healthy $5 billion in 2012) even while digital books grew at a more rapid pace. These figures show there is room for both, and the content consuming public continues to have a ravenous appetite.
Digital ad spend continues to climb, with mobile spending leading the way thanks in large part to the uptick in smartphone and tablet usage, and this growth can be expected to help bolster media companies’ online publishing ventures, according to Hyrkin.
Rather than beat the old drum that digital publishing is the death knell of print, Hyrkin takes the more realistic view that “publishing in alive and well as we move into 2014 and beyond,” in all associated mediums.