Publishers ask platforms for better treatment in the new year
The Future. Though platforms and publishers depend on each other, they don’t share an equal partnership. Platforms’ huge audiences and revenue streams enable them to make unilateral decisions about content that leave publishers scrambling to catch up. If platforms ignore publishers’ requests, they could see defections in the new year.
Digiday conducted a survey asking publishers about the changes they wanted to see from platforms in the near future.
- Publishers would like platforms to give them a heads-up before changing their SEO algorithms. In the past, many publishers have had to pivot from articles to short-form video posts after platforms’ algorithms suddenly prioritized them.
- They also want platforms to make content creation and publication easier, especially on desktops. Many social media sites are mobile-only, which can pose a huge headache for social media coordinators who have to switch between dozens of profiles all on their phones.
- Cheaper ads would be nice, but that’s a tall order since ads are how platforms make all their money. In lieu of this, publishers want more warning when the cost and structure of platforms’ ad placement offerings are about to change.
- Lastly, publishers want more financial support and/or benefits from the platforms that host them (including being bought outright).
These requests certainly seem reasonable, given how much money platforms have historically had at their disposal. But as many tech giants institute major layoffs in light of the market correction, platforms are probably feeling less generous with their capital.
On the other hand, as sites like Meta and Twitter weaken financially and sink in the public eye, the power dynamic may shift in publishers’ favor. Changes are most likely to come if platforms need publishers more than they have before, and that all depends on whether a platform moves towards streaming (short-video content) or pivots back to more traditional text-based reporting.