Bots, VR, e-commerce … can new tech save the press?

by bold-lichterman

The explosion of the media offer and free information continue the inexorable drop in press revenues. To remedy this, newspapers and pure-players are using new technologies to try to retain their audiences. More than ever, these are sucked in by social networks, until the expected switch in advertising spending. In 2020, social media spending will far exceed press spending, according to a recent Zenith Optimedia study. Beyond the new formats or the diversification of models towards the “offline” offered by certain titles, what technologies can be seen as serious growth drivers for the press?

Technological innovation is also of interest to Google. Most of the European media are supported by the American giant, via its Digital News Initiative fund. The structure, which must “promote quality journalism through technology and innovation” has just reinvested 24 million euros in 124 projects from 25 European countries.

A bot to talk to the reader

What if the editorial staff addressed their readers directly? This is the idea that is gaining ground in several media. First to get started, the American site Quartz, which, last February, presented its new application allowing to dialogue with readers.

In France, the Presstalis group has just announced the development of bots, in partnership with the start-up Recast.ai, for its digital Zeens kiosk. For the press distributor group, the bots must allow “better understand your audience, but also to establish a richer, more relevant and individualized ‘one to one’ relationship than the usual ‘one to many’ of the media ”. Another initiative, that of the newspaper Release who launches a chatbot on Facebook Messenger for “help to know the presidential candidatesBy automatically answering questions from readers.

As to whether these chatbots will bring the purchase of daily newspapers up to date, nothing is less certain.

See as well : Recast.AI relies on the invasion of chatbots

Virtual reality to create a new information experience

The American media are seduced by the promises of virtual reality.

On the hardware side, Oculus, the Facebook subsidiary and designer of the virtual reality headset, presented its very first VR news journal last September. A few months earlier, TechCrunch also noted that Facebook recruited a “News & Media Content Lead” for Oculus.

In the United States, the start-up NextVR has raised $ 30.5 million in series A, and signed partnerships with the events company LiveNation, which notably manages the broadcasting of NBA matches. The NFL (ice hockey) is also thinking with the Oculus Rift, as this promotional video shows:

United Kingdom, The Guardian has decided to make a long-term commitment to virtual reality by creating a team specially dedicated to this sector last October. The British daily launched its first virtual reality project last April with a 9-minute report that transports the user to an isolation cell.

The “shoppable content»To offer more attractive advertising to Internet users

Screenshot 2016-12-08 at 16.31.26The income of most media still depends mainly on advertising. However, the latter often results in pop-up windows that degrade the user experience.

Faced with this rejection, the media are trying to offer more targeted and less intrusive advertising to their audience. In this sense, the New York Times opted for the “shoppable content“. This device consists of integrating benchmarks inside the content in order to encourage the purchase of a product directly in the content. The contents shoppable allows the brand to generate performance in a narrative universe. As for the media, this offers it the possibility of better integrating its advertising content so that it is better accepted and consumed by Internet users.

Last October, the New York Times thus spent more than $ 30 million to buy back The Wirecutter, an online guide to product recommendation. Additionally, The Wirecutter also owns The Sweethome, which is based on the same model for home appliances. These two sites are of interest to the American daily because their business model is based on affiliate links which generate income when consumers click on them to make their purchases on e-commerce sites. By focusing on content shoppable, the New York Times hopes to boost its revenues from digital advertising. These fell by 7% in the last quarter.

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Video to retrieve the audience on social networks

In two years, revenues from online video advertising, at $ 35.4 billion, will exceed those of radio, according to a report by the agency Zenith Optimedia. In this context, social media is refocusing more and more on video, like MinuteBuzz, which changed its model to become 100% video social media last October.

Same story with Facebook, which estimates that writing will disappear from its platform in the next 5 years. Over the past few months, Mark Zuckerberg’s social network has positioned itself in the video market, focusing on live content, virtual reality and 360-degree video. For its part, Snapchat has even transformed video into a real instant messaging tool. Over 10 billion videos are said to be viewed on the platform every day by 100 million daily users.

Faced with the explosion of video content in the media, start-ups are popping up on the market, such as Wochit. Founded in 2012, the American company automates the creation of mini-videos to speed up the production of informational videos of 1 to 2 minutes. Last October, the start-up claimed 17,000 videos published in fast-news by its users.

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