The Big Bets in Publishing for 2015

[responsive]route2015[/responsive]What’s the strategic direction for publishers in 2015? As it becomes clear that digital ad or subscription revenue is not going to be the answer to their revenue challenges, industry leaders are taking action  in new directions with some bold and exciting initiatives.

“Publishers are back to exploring new areas for growth as they face non-stop challenges emerging from a pressured print market and increasingly inventive digital competitors,” according to this article in Folio:.

“The new initiatives don’t always materialize as new launches or products, however. They can be major enhancements to existing brands. Here, we profile new strategic directions from nine publishers,” the article continues.

One publisher in the consumer health space is making the leap to “emotional storytelling,” in a bold move away from the more clinical style of content typical in that niche.

Remedy still has its print publications and point-of-care content products, but it’s betting that by creating a connection with readers through its content, Remedy will help drive more consumers to doctors,” the article explains.

“The research shows that the patient is more apt to take a desired action,” says Jim Curtis, CRO of Remedy Health Media. “We’re skewing our content to be from real patients and real doctors.”

Meanwhile, specialty interest publisher I-5 is betting on the move from digital to print for its Catster and Dogster digital properties. They plan to launch bi-monthly print publications early next year, playing off their ten years of digital engagement and the popularity of their existing Cat Fancy and Dog Fancy print brands.

As they explain, pet ownership is a solid, recession-proof market and pet lovers are engaging across many platforms, but they especially crave long-form content that is a natural fit for print.

“We feel that the tone, content and frequency of the new titles are a better fit for the contemporary pet owner and how they consume their pet-related information,” says Kim Huey-Steiner of I-5.

While some publishers will continue to seek new ways to growth their digital audience, others are looking to events and expanded niches. And Hearst Business Media is looking to its solid foundation and 95% renewal rates to make some strategic acquisitions in 2015.

The handwringing and angst of the past few years is being replaced by innovation and optimism. It’s great to see, and bodes well for the industry for the New Year.