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Digital Media Innovations - Publishing

As I'm gathering insight into the report on how ready the digital media industry is to innovate our way through the crisis, I also did a simple dig into the most innovative digital products out there.

Of course, my selection is subjective, but I used some loosely defined criteria. After all, innovation is not just creativity but about creating products that customers want, and this takes some rigour… But I digress! So, on my list, there are:

  • Some incremental innovations, as not everything innovative needs to disrupt to generate value.

  • They are at the intersections of disciplines, tools and markets (e.g. physical and eCommerce)

  • They are all designed with customer and experience in mind, as without that focus, they would be just ideas that your engineering team thinks are "cool".

Also, as every company aspires (or pretends? :-) ) to be in the media to some extent, I divided "digital media" into a few sub-disciplines. Today's examples are from the world of Publishing and the most exciting ways publishers use technology to drive innovation. It's also great to see how technology ties all the various teams' contributions together - editorial, product, data science and marketing - to deliver an effective reader revenue strategy.

  1. Graphical Story Editor - from one of my favourite clients, BBC News Labs, the automated graphical editor quickly converts longer news articles into social media shareable short stories with storytelling graphics. The content, format and channel are more suitable to the growing under 25 years old audiences.

  2. Shoppable print - not all digital innovations start online. Bauer Media UK has partnered with image-recognition platform Phuzion Media to enhance its magazines Grazia and Heat, making products and services within its print pages instantly shoppable and interactive via QR codes. 80% of readers agreed that technology has made online shopping more straightforward, and the innovative idea aligns with new consumer shopping habits

  3. Mixed Reality Journalism - New York Times, always at the cutting edge of storytelling, are playing with mixed reality to offer readers new ways to learn about the physical spaces around them. They explore new ways of designing and publishing (or surfacing?) location-based journalism wherever readers roam in the open world. They also resurface the 170 years old archive containing millions of stories that could show and educate on the specific spaces readers occupy.

  4. Interactive Magazine Covers - It's been a few years since the beautiful interactive New Yorker covers hit the spotlight. However, I'm still a great fan of the stories bursting out of the cover and Nexus Studios.

  5. Generative Pre-Trained Transformer, also known as ChatGPT - a chatbot from Open.AI that mimics a human conversationalist, debugs computer programs and composes music, fairy tales, student essays, poetry, poetry, and love songs. It can improvise, and unlike any other chatbot, it remembers previous prompts in the same conversation. What will it do to storytelling and journalism? Anyone's guess…

So, if your team came up with any of those (or even better!) ideas, is your organisation set up to turn them into sustainable commercial products? If you have doubts, get in touch with me and let's turn your innovative capabilities up a notch together!


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