2020 Digital Publishing Trends: Key Takeouts From The DCX Expo In Berlin

Nov 03, 2019

The DCX Digital Content Expo is the global event for media operators, publishers and content strategists. The last event took place from 8th to 9th October 2019 in Berlin and the next one is planned for 2021.

While attending, we had the opportunity to meet some of the world’s leading publishers and technology providers and get inspired by the opportunities technology brings in the space.

Digital trends in 2019 have seen publishers not only go back and focus on the basics such as search engine optimization and improved website performance, but general news covered has shown a push towards new technologies. Gated content is now mainstream in both broad and niche publications, whilst AI-generated content became an industry sensation.

Without further ado, here are our dcx expo key trends for 2020; not in any particular order, and with thanks to those who inspired our insights:

Personalization with respect to the users privacy

This is a relatively new frontier, with a massive regulatory interest in the European Union. In the last months we've witnessed tech giants like Facebook shift their business models towards privacy, in order to protect their users from 3rd party predatory apps, hackers, election medling and take some regulatory pressure off them.

That being said, one thing that has become clearer in the last months, is that Blockchain technology will play a big role in giving users back the ownership of their data. This has profound GDPR compliance implications for publishers.

At the DCX we were introduced to this type of technology by Mattia Fosci at Yoop Tech, a company that is building the secure identity platform iDWard, which offers access to personalized content while giving full control of the data back to the user.

This is a great example and it proves that the marketing efficiencies deriving from personalization don't have to come in the expense of the user's privacy. Overall we find it better for the user and better for the digital publishers, for many of which achieving compliance in an environment of fast paced regulatory change remains a challenge.

Reduced friction in gated content

Paywalls have already become an industry standard. At the same time we feel that the industry has matured and we met many providers who are now focusing on the user experiecne of gated content. I personally find that user experience is the bottleneck in achieving higher subscription rates, and was pleasantly surprised to find more about the recent developments in the space.

Another sign of maturity is publishers expanding their gated content subscriptions to developing countries where carrier billing is the most popular billing method. At the DCX we had the opportunity to learn more about this from Kerli Juhandi at Fortumo, a global direct carrier billing platform. By building an extensive network of Telco partners, fortumo enables publishers to offer carrier billing through one simple integration. This is an important step towards economic inclusion and an extra source of revenue for publishers.

Publishers are slowly but steadily transforming into tech companies

In the new digital publishing landscape, technology is present in all aspects of business, from publishing and content creation, to visitor retention and monetization. With the advent of the internet it perhaps became innevitable that digital publishers will one day become tech companies.

Having superior technology gives the advantage of better security, higher search rankings, lower infrastructure costs and improved efficiencies in visitor retention and monetization. Especially when it comes to the later, as many publishers eventually hit a hard ceiling in monetization, smarter visitor retention strategies are becoming an emerging trend.

Ride the trend

Our team is looking forward to meeting strong professionals and helping our network grow together with us. I'd like to invite you for a 30 mins. discovery call, to review your digital growth potential and bring to the table new ideas. You can schedule a hangout with me here: https://calendly.com/kntoukakis/30min

Moreover, we're regularly sharing insights and in-depth content on SEO and digital marketing on our blog. If you are interested in other emerging trends such as AI marketing, you will find our Open AI experiment interesting.

Konstantinos Ntoukakis

Konstantinos is a search engine optimization consultant, and co-founder & CTO at Studio for Digital Growth.