The future of content management in the publishing industry
Paper sales decline worldwide and all publishers look for their digital transformation - replacing paper sales with digital products. In the past few years we focussed on the development of websites with online content and recently of tablet apps with mostly print content.
But what is really needed to be prepared for the unknown?
Let’s first recap what we do know.
- Websites are costly and monetize almost entirely with advertising
- We don’t yet know how paid content will work
- Tablets are costly and so far don’t return their investments
- Smartphone apps are used by more and more users out there
- Newsletters still work
- Content deals with partners still work
- Facebook works
What we don’t know yet is how the use of media will be changed by technology. In the past this change has been enormous. With smartphones and tablets new usage scenarios emerged that we instantly noticed in our analytics reports.
We can not foresee what will happens when the obvious difference between desktops and tablets and smartphones becomes more and more blurred with devices such as the Galaxy Note 2 or the iPad mini and the upcoming Nexus series or with the new range of half tablet half traditional laptop ultrabooks.
People will consume news and stories but we can no longer prescribe how they do it. They will lead the way. They already do.
So we don’t know what products we need. The only consistency is the content itself. It needs to be written and brought to the users wherever they are.
So what kind of Content Management System CMS is required for this new era?
I think we need a Cockpit that is completely disjunct from the development of products. We need a cockpit that allows not only the creation of contents but the steering into different output channels such as a smartphone app, a tablet app, a newsletter and of course a website.
These products need to be developed independent from the cockpit. They have to be consumers to the cockpit that can be connected and populated with fitting contents.
Usually a CMS in the digital world focusses on one product and offers a tight integration. You can see that in features like frontend editing.
I don’t think that architectures like this are fit for the future. The final products need to be created by specialists who focus on apps, websites, newsletters and whatnot. To expect the supplier of a CMS technology to be able to offer all these output channels as well will eventually be disappointed and only lead to a lack of innovation and speed.
We need generalist cockpits.