Indeed, when Bloomberg announced in early May that it would put up a metered paywall across its site—including its Live TV digital channel—John Micklethwait, editor-in-chief of Bloomberg News, pointed to entertainment streaming services such as Netflix and Spotify as proof that consumers are “willing to pay for content again,” in his “Future of News” article on the site in May this year.
Fewer and fewer consumers are picking up print magazines and newspapers—Pew Research Center reported in June 2017 that year-on-year circulation for US daily newspapers fell 8% to 35 million in 2016. Digital entertainment presents a new medium for publishers to spin their brand, capturing consumers’ attention, and, with that, advertisers’ dollars. Data from Standard Media Index, published in March, showed that while year-on-year advertising revenues in print media fell 26% in February 2018, digital advertising grew 18% during this period. In particular, ad spend for digital content creators rose 23%.
Anna Bager, executive vice president of industry initiatives at the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), notes that the rise in publishers launching digital video channels stems from both the medium’s potential as a revenue opportunity and the advances in technology that have opened up the possibilities of digital entertainment. “Today, you can become a TV company in five minutes,” she says. “If you have an existing audience, you can provide them with a totally different experience. Video is obviously a very powerful engagement tool if you want to talk to consumers. They like it, they consume a lot, they do it on a lot of different screens… so, because you can, why not?”