Digital Media Industry Trends in 2021The days when doing a regular offline business was enough to survive on the market are long gone. According to Forbes, 87% of all companies expect that digital transformation will disrupt their industries, but at the same time, 89% have already adopted a digital strategy. The reasons are various: some of them are circumstantial (the COVID-19 pandemic with its dire consequences), the others reflect the immediate needs of today. Consumers are continuously changing and becoming more technically savvy. They demand more dynamic interactions from brands, they expect entertaining approaches. 67% of consumers are ready to pay more for a great experience. This is where digital media trends find their roots. 74% of marketers emphasize that online omnichannel experience is crucial nowadays. Media publishing technologies await global adoption. How deep is this rabbit hole? Who can help to explore it safely? Purely Offline Activities Go Online This year, the Boston Marathon was organized remotely for the first time in its 124-year history. This is not about a running contest anymore, this is about an online event having many media-like features. Of course, such migration to a virtual space has a strong reason: the Corona lockdown triggered transforming a purely offline sports competition into a highly individualized online challenge. Technologically speaking, the ground for such an approach had been well prepared in advance by the fancy digital wearables: smartwatches and fitness trackers. A bundle of mobile software + tracking gadgets enables the organizers of various athletic competitions to import many of them to the digital format. Since this year, marathoners from all over the world can participate in the Boston Marathon without having to leave their places. You can run along the street where you live while a special mobile app tracks your movement on the Boston Marathon’s map. No cheating: you run, the software counts the score, and everything is broadcasted via the entire social network. This is how a media consumer turns into a creator of content through personal engagement. Needless to say that the number of marathoners can increase by an order of magnitude thanks to this digital solution. The same can apply to many other human activities empowered by the emerging trends in the digital industry. Innovative Payments Meet the Challenges of Media Contemporary TV is changing its ideology from “one-to-many” to “one-to-each-and-every”. TV is not a mass media any longer, since no mass audience is available. Personalization is no longer a mantra for retailers only; the individual approach reaches media consumers as well. The subscription model starts dominating the market of digital media companies. Indeed, individuals matter. This business model is very close to the p2p (peer-to-peer) relationships inherent in the emerging crypto economy. By the way, blockchain is one of the digital trends for many diverse businesses where financial relations with consumers require more flexible payment options. The media industry is no exception. Hybrid approaches when cash is supplemented with cashless payments seem vital in the “era of remote everything”. That’s why crypto is an emerging trend when we speak about the future of media. Today, some media platforms work with cryptocurrencies exclusively. The Steemit project, having its native crypto coin STEEM, was initially launched for content creators and social media bloggers. Another successful attempt to link crypto and media has been implemented by CENT - a decentralized social network empowered by the Ethereum blockchain. The creators of CENT define the project as a blockchain-based social media within which everyone can “earn income anywhere”. Creators of all possible stripes and colors can share their music, writing, and photography via the network to earn rewards in crypto. It is hard to find a better sign of digitization: digital arts are paid for with digital money. Both large and small entertainment channels along with the sharks of the media industry should add crypto to their payment options. It is true that cryptocurrencies are still far from being adopted globally. But they are evolving rapidly (crypto enthusiasts suppose the upcoming crypto RMB from Chinese National Bank will be a leap for the whole blockchain industry at the global level), and who knows which of the media industry trends will grab the attention of all crypto-friendly consumers in the future. The well-known maxim of entrepreneurship suggests that a tiny monopoly is much better than any sort of competition. Adaptation to Digital: the Recipe of Success The engagement of a new audience is what can push digital media companies forward. Where does the lion’s share of the contemporary audience reside? The answer is obvious: on the internet. People work, learn, buy, and have fun in a virtual world. In doing so, they continuously consume media content in one or another form. Hence, the more diverse media channels a brand applies for interaction with customers, the larger the media presence it can gain. Sometimes it is even worth refusing the standard format in favor of it. Bon Appétit, a magazine of cooking recipes, demonstrates a 64% increase in subscription year after year. The recipe for success is quite simple nevertheless: adaptation to the digital format. Starting from an average print publisher for middle-aged adults in the 1950s, Bon Appétit has transformed itself into a multi-channel media enterprise 60 years later. Long videos on YouTube, short posts on Instagram, and diverse content on its website cater to younger consumers whose family experience might not include learning how to cook from parents. There are no critical hurdles for traditional businesses in the digital economy. If the 158% increase in the number of customers (this is how Bon Appétit jumped up in 2019 due to a proper digital strategy) sounds convincing, it is always worth finding an appropriate streaming entertainment technology to engage new subscribers. The Era of Likes The present economy is called the economy of attention for nothing. Both getting likes and giving likes merge into a single universal indicator of consumer engagement. People channel their opinion about one or another brand through a commonly accepted reaction: likes. If a company has little to no media presence, the number of likes from consumers will be close to zero. It is hardly reasonable to hope for economic progress in such a case. At the same time, digital media channels can generate an avalanche of likes for any brand. The more dynamic (and therefore more engaging) content is available, the fewer chances a brand has to be ignored. As one of our senior developers says, a properly targeted media technology is what turns any business into a trap for mass attention. Brands will have spent $100 billion on video content by 2023, while a live streaming industry is predicted to grow up to $70.5 billion by 2021. The figures show how important digital media is becoming for companies. The stats echo our vision clearly: the main media industry trends cannot do without videos and dynamic content. No Such Thing As Too Much Media Presence Some may argue that every brand is available on the Internet today, and if so, there is no need in calling for a larger media presence. But the fact of the availability of a website as such does not make any content viral and any customer loyal. It was enough for the so-called dot-com era, not for now. Moreover, the devil is in the details. Even a huge advertising budget remains meaningless if the UX is painful and the UI is obsolete. A bigger part of your consumer audience is abandoned if social media are not integrated. And the younger generations sidestep a brand whose YouTube channel does not follow all the recent entertainment trends. It is worth remembering that contemporary consumers spend 92 minutes a day watching digital videos. A brand can make a memorable footprint in the digital economy only when a combination of the best media practices runs through advanced publishing software. AnyforSoft has significant experience in those software tools and techniques that help brands meet the toughest challenges of media. Drupal 9, React, dynamic content features, and social media integration constitute the stack with which happy customers of AnyforSoft invigorate their digital projects. Pimp My Site! The enhanced multimedia capabilities brought income-leveraging outcomes to the Kharkiv2day news portal when our developers took on the job of improving its website. Now it looks and works like a profound publisher software. Consumers have appreciated the innovations with 11% higher attendance and 14% longer time spent on the site. Another case of improved publishing software is the biggest theatre producer in Europe, Stage Entertainment. Their multi-million audience with diverse cultural backgrounds used to be spread over numerous local websites, which made the corporate management overcomplicated. Besides, entertainment productions and numerous shows require user-friendly UI/UX designs. A cohesive digital platform with a clear content hierarchy has resulted from the involvement of our team in the quest of perfecting the project. Source Custom designed content elements were rearranged with Drupal multisite and Acquia Cloud in such an efficient manner that selling tickets offline became redundant for Stage Entertainment. This is not about following fancy publishing trends, this is about the monetization of business in the tough era of lockdowns. Emerging trends differ, entertaining approaches vary, but what remains unshakable is the necessity to enhance media presence for every forward-looking brand. Since the future lies in the digital direction, the developers of the best publishing software are becoming an indispensable ingredient of success these days. There is no point in procrastinating: AnyforSoft is here to help you explore how deep the rabbit hole of digital transformation is. What if your project can become the brightest success case due to digital media trends in 2021? Contact us today to start your digital journey.