The conference additionally revealed that readership is in a position of disruption and will continue to transform in 2020. The event identified and examined the following trends, which are expected to gain weight in 2020:

1. Publishers will put readers at the heart of the business strategy

According to the conference, readers no longer read news from a couple of trusted sources. Hamish Nicklin, the Guardian United Kingdom's chief revenue officer, says that advertisers started "chasing audiences at scale across the Internet."

"The venerable British newspaper in 2019 showed a small profit after a three-year plan to become sustainable by 'putting the reader at the heart of everything'. Now, over half its revenues come from readers. We're definitely more of a digital business and more of a reader-focused business," adds Nicklin.

2. The future is hybrid

The overwhelming message at the IPDC was that the future is hybrid, using cross-platform and cross-media measurement in which print can remain valued by many — providing that it coexists with publishers' online efforts.

Cross-media audience measurement is a growing trend globally among publishers who "want to win back trust, both from audiences and commercial partners," says FIPP's Piet van Niekerk.

3. Properly analysed big data will deliver actionable insights 

Audience engagement and analytics researcher Hanne Brasseur, who is from Brussel's public service medium VRT NWS, says that data doesn't mean anything until you analyse it.

She says that having a "culture of data" online and analytics helps her newsroom to make good editorial choices in real-time, to take strategic decisions and to grow loyal audiences.

4. Context is vital for advertising

Under-investment by advertisers in print and online news brands is a risk. Denise Turner, insight director of Newsworks in the United Kingdom, says that research and analysis have demonstrated the importance of context and the quality of the environment. 

Turner says that it is therefore worth paying a bit more because you get much more effective result. Although the quality environment is more expensive, it is 42% more cost-effective.

5. Not all digital is equal

A study by Lumen in the United Kingdom showed that just because an ad is viewable doesn't mean that it's been viewed. Quality content delivers 2.6 times more attention to advertising.

Lumen says that, given that more relevant ads lead to greater attention, ads that are fit for purpose, made for the platform will be more viewable.

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*Image courtesy of the Publisher Research Council