As companies begin to look at inhouse content creation, the lines have blurred between traditional publishing and brand publishing. It’s not enough to put out sub-standard content or rely on media outlets to tell brand stories.

While companies move into the publishing space, what will happen to this long standing industry?

We reached out to industry professionals to find out what they considered to be the future of publishing. What do you think? Will this be the dawn of a new day for publishing or the end of it?

Martha Pierce Marketing Coordinator at Equinox

It’s hard to say. As a former rookie of the magazine industry (I was an intern for many years before college graduation), I can honestly say I’m displeased with the way a lot of magazines are approaching social media and mobile devices. I think mags like Glamour and GQ are on top of trends, though. I expect them to keep up with the times and embrace new social plugins, revamp their apps, etc.’s new site redesign is awesome.

Maxifier CEO, Anthony Katsur

Publishers will increasingly focus on valuable premium inventory rather than remnant. They will begin to adopt the new branding metrics around visibility and interaction to attract brand dollars online. Offering the metrics relevant to their needs rather than the traditional performance metrics associated with digital advertising will increase brand spend and grow the category. Viewable impressions will become a more important metric and help drive impression scarcity, which should lead to higher CPMs for publishers.

Gustav von Sydow, CEO and co-founder, Burt

Publishers will shift their focus from ramping up high numbers in reach and hope that automated buying and selling will fix their ad sales, to instead analyse and understand who their most valuable readers and advertisers are, and how to monetize that relationship.

CEO, Paul Miller, UBM Tech

Publishers that have survived the disruptions of Web 1.0, Web 2.0 and the 2008/09 recession may have thought that they were through with the ‘dark days’ but, in my opinion, we are at the very early stages of a new information age that will result in even more disruption in 2013. There is a need for leadership and risk tolerance that is not evident across the industry. The fact is that the trusted relationship that publishers have built with their audiences is at risk as this very audience is auctioned off in the name of “lead generation.” 

Some publishers are advantaged by having strong events that build connection with the community in a live format and are seen as producing the best ROI by marketeers, but, many continue to operate as if social media and owned media never happened. The more enlightened will engage with customers to consult and produce better content as well as programs to promote the content. Publishers get content and companies need real help in this area…2013, a seminal year for publishers – do they remain relevant or do they take the route of the “Buggy Whip?”

Julia Rieger, Director of Marketing, Liveintent

Now that ‘content is back’ and ‘Publishers Are In Full Control’, the time has come to recognize publishers as the real reason why we spend so much time on the web.   Publishers will star in their own version of ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ as they take control of run-away RTB, explore or refine private exchanges and lead a renaissance of sponsored advertising balanced by a healthy monetization of their email as their number one source of quality traffic.

Andrew Kessler, founder of Togather

I think we’ll see curated and highly-personalized book experiences emerge as the foil to price pressure and a more consolidated publishing universe. There is a massive opportunity for engaged authors and publishers who want to interact directly with fans. 

It doesn’t even stop with content producers, curators and social connectors, who will also benefit from creating niche experiences with authors and their work. With so many books, blogs and articles fighting for our attention, readers will increasingly rely on great tastemakers and unique author experiences to drive their book reading and fandom decisions.

Jason Baptiste, Onswipe CEO

Smartphones and tablets have dramatically changed the publishing game, and 2013 will be a year of reckoning for publishers that lack an effective mobile strategy. In order to succeed in this mobile-first environment, publishers must view engagement on smartphones and tablets as the number one priority.

While native apps receive the lion’s share of attention, the mobile web is the way consumers prefer accessing news and information. This trend will accelerate in 2013, and it is critical that publishers deliver a compelling experience for the touch web.

We will also see great strides in mobile advertising in 2013 as publishers figure out how to present relevant, engaging mobile ads that are always above the fold.

Ben Plomion, VP, Marketing & Partnerships, Chango

It’s tough being a publisher these days. There is so much decent content for free that subscription models are hard to sustain. Take a look at the daily that dies after only a year. Publishers are also being negatively impacted by loss of revenue as CPMs keep dropping. 

Luckily, RTB is not all bad news for publishers. We are all wondering what the Federated Media closure of almost all direct sales mean for the industry. But we tend to forget RTB can also expose new opportunities for publishers. RTB is exposing the need for publishers to take control of their data to enhance their audience and sell those audiences at a higher CPM. 

RTB is also creating new types of media deals: the private exchanges and direct media buy are two examples. Finally, some publishers will embrace audience extension to better monetize their audience outside their network, or/and will sell their data to a third party.

Andrew Der

We’re going to see continued efforts  by the Publishing industry to find alternative revenue streams.  The efforts will come both from creating new agency-like businesses, similar to what Time Inc. has done with Content Solutions, and from finding ways to effectively monetize their current assets, similar to the offering that a startup called kneon has to help content providers monetize online editorial images. The Publishing industry needs to find a way to push beyond just the advertising business model.

Gareth Holmes, PubMatic’s UK Publisher Director

In the coming year spend on programmatic trading of display inventory is set to increase from £131.2 billion to £236.1 billion, a year-on year growth of 70.2%. I expect directly sold data rich inventory to account for previously unseen percentages of this spend, as publishers utilise private marketplaces and adopt new protocols to trade in data-enriched media.

Advancements made by some SSPs with holistic optimisation functionality have empowered publishers to sell 3rd party quantified audiences selectively to agencies without the need of intermediaries. Through ground-breaking technology and rich reporting functionality, Mobile is also set to form an increasing portion of programmatic trading.