Digital first isn’t an option for media, it’s the only way forward

Article of the day:

Digital first isn’t an option for media — it’s the only way forward — from @gigaom

Thoughts from the author:

Having worked within The Economist going through large digital focused change (and leading some of it!) I can understand entirely where traditional publishers are coming from … there is a history, tradition and large organisation/infrastructure focused solely on a single medium to support, and digital only will not support that.

‘Digital first’ is critical to be woven into the thinking of journalists, publishers and all within a media organisation though, as this maps for ‘where the customer is’. They are no longer buying newspapers for their daily fix of news, sport, business and timely information … those days are long gone … but this does not mean that a publisher has to be ‘digital only’.

Being ‘where the customer is’ means precisely that, and sometimes that is in a ‘lean back’ mood, and this is where the paper publication and tablet experience is focused. The jury is still out on whether people prefer paper or screen in this mode, but there are opportunities for both. Publishers need to focus on being ‘where the customer is’ and the emotional attachment they have with the medium whilst in these varying modes.

Commercialisation of both is also still a sustainable model. Having lead a number of digital media teams and organisations I can tell you that the money is there via digital, and will be there on mobile. Yet, there are a number of publishers who are embracing all mediums, even if they are mega-niche focused, they prove the model that digital and paper can work hand in hand as long as you are laser focused on what the customers want and being where they are.

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