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Executive Report - By Thomas Baekdal - December 2016

Let's Talk About Innovation for Publishers

One very positive trend that I currently see is that publishers are starting to get very serious about innovation. Over the past six months, I have noticed a big change in how mostly European publishers are talking about the future and the need to actually do something completely new.

I say European publishers because, in the US, all the publishers are focusing on US politics, causing them to completely forget that they need to innovate, but give it six more months and we will see this trend there as well.

You might say that this isn't something new. Publishers have been talking about innovation for many years, but it is happening in stages. And the innovation stage that I'm seeing now is the most exciting one.

So in this article, we are going to talk about this latest stage, but also how publishers should be organizing innovation to make it happen, and more importantly, what publishers should really be focusing on. And by the end I will give you two examples of how to actually innovate old magazines.

But before we start looking at the future, let's very briefly look at what we have done so far.

The five stages of innovation far

Below is a graph that illustrates global media spending for different channels. As you can see, the newspapers and magazines did somewhat decent until the financial crisis in 2008, after which things went badly. Digital is now completely taking over the market for publishers, while TV is hanging in there (but notice how it's not growing at the same rate as the market overall, so it's actually in decline too).

How does this relate to innovation?

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Baekdal is a magazine for media professionals, focusing on media analysis, trends, patterns, strategy, journalistic focus, and newsroom optimization. Since 2010, it has helped publishers in more than 40 countries, including big and small publishers like Condé Nast, Bonnier, Schibsted, NRC, and others, as well as companies like Google and Microsoft.

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Thomas Baekdal

Founder, media analyst, author, and publisher. Follow on Twitter

"Thomas Baekdal is one of Scandinavia's most sought-after experts in the digitization of media companies. He has made ​​himself known for his analysis of how digitization has changed the way we consume media."
Swedish business magazine, Resumé


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