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Top Seven Digital Publishing Trends to Watch in 2020

Top Seven Digital Publishing Trends to Watch in 2020

The new decade in digital publishing is well underway! Predictions about the industry are flying in, and experts, as well as the big players in the field, are already making their viewpoints for 2020 and beyond.

With the latest happenings in the world, and the rapid evolution in digital publishing, innovations are bound to happen, and staying informed about the latest business trends is pivotal when attracting user attention. With that being said, let’s explore the top seven digital publishing trends to watch in 2020.

1. Resolving Trust Issues

As a publisher, today, you must exceed readers’ content expectations towards transparency by repairing the trust that people have in published media.

According to communications giant Edelman, consumers more likely to trust their employers than NGOs and media companies. The phenomenon of fake news is also considered a massive problem, and people are concerned that things will only get worse.

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That is why providing consumers with high-quality, timely, relevant, and more importantly, accurate content is pivotal to rebuilding their trust in publishing. If you want to succeed online, you need to increase the transparency and provide stories that are genuinely beneficial to your audience.

2. Podcasts Dominance

Podcasts Dominance

One of the most hyped types of content today is podcasts. Audio shows are convenient, and they can be shared across multiple channels. In 2019 alone, more than 50% of Americans have listened to a podcast, and the trend will continue to grow in 2020 as well. It is predicted that by next year, the US podcasting market will hit $1 billion.

When you have valuable experience and storytelling skills in your arsenal, there’s not any reason not to start a podcast right now. The possibilities are here. With the increasing popularity of audio content, there are numerous platform that you can distribute your podcast on, such as:

3. Voice Optimization

People are actively using voice technologies on their devices to search and consume content. By 2023, the world will use more than 8 billion digital voice assistants. This trend will continue in 2020 as well and will affect digital publishers, content creators, and users alike. Based on a Gartner report, this year, 30% of searches will be conducted by voice alone. Need more convincing?

According to the SEO Tribunal:

  • 40% of people utilize voice search daily
  • 52.8% use voice search when commuting
  • 20% to 25% of mobile search queries are voice
  • 39.3% of voice searchers are millennials

Voice search statistics

This trend comes as a result of the technological advances in voice assistants such as Alexa, Google Home, and Siri. Google’s voice recognition technology is now as accurate as humans. These improvements shifted the entire manner in which users search online.

The technology that drives voice searches learns more from each search query and is capable of understanding user intent for each keyword much faster. Users speak to voice assistants like they would talk to fellow humans now.

Furthermore, voice search is more convenient than typing the search query, and when users speak, they use more of their natural language than when they type out the search term.

The data above points to the importance of voice SEO for publishers. It’s not just a trend. It’s the present and the future. If you fail to optimize now, you might miss out on valuable organic traffic in the future.

4. Seamless and Innovative Monetization

2020 is the year where publishers will implement their monetization models more consistently, and more innovatively.

The subscription model will continue to be relevant. As specified by a joint study from the Reuters Institute and the University of Oxford, subscriptions will stay the primary monetization model for more than 50% of digital publishers.


To innovate further, publishers can use data-science software or AI to dig deeper into subscribers’ data for better targeting and content personalization. Top-notch software tools can also help you segment subscribers and readers predicated on their reading interests and help you tailor your subscription invitations and push notifications on various mediums.

Of course, when speaking about current monetization models, we can’t leave out advertisements. Again, to unlock the full power of advertising as a monetization model in 2020, publishers must rely heavily on data. They need to analyze and segment web traffic, as well as gauge readers’ behaviors to unlock new content interactions and ad placement opportunities.


In 2020 and beyond, digital publishers must be more accurate with their audience segmentation, which can help them produce better content which can then be monetized according to the different audiences. Furthermore, publishers should stay aware of ad blocking and work to override them while, at the same time, not letting advertisement be intrusive.

5. Full Shift on Mobile

Shift to mobile

Mobile technology has altered the way users open and engage with content. With the increasing traffic that publishers get from mobile devices, focusing entirely on creating mobile-friendly content is the best way to ensure a user-friendly content experience.

As reported by TNW, 92% of worldwide internet users use mobile devices to browse the web. This means that as a digital publisher, if you’re not focused on mobile optimization, then you might leave a huge chunk of organic traffic on the table.

And now, with the incredible rise of mobile-focused social media platforms such as TikTok and Instagram, investing in mobile marketing is going to be even higher in 2020.

6. Influencers Set the Tone

The constant need for people that can be trusted online has changed the way content is consumed, and the way that products are bought. As a result, there’s a big opportunity for publishers to team up with influencers and form better relationships with the consumers.

Like any other brand, digital publishers benefit more from organic messages that are credible and relevant to their target audiences.

People trust influencers more than advertisements. When ads start feeling intrusive, influencers can come to the rescue by interacting with the target audience more authentically. Their engagement feels more natural to the modern users. 40% of millennials claim that YouTubers understand them better than their friends.

Influencers help digital publishers distribute their brand recognition with:

  • Creativity: The best influencer marketers can come up with original content that can reach target audiences with engaging and creative videos, photos, or texts shared across social platforms.
  • Credibility: The right choice of influencer delivers immediate credibility and relevance within the target audience, which brings more targeted traffic and brand recognition.
  • Distribution: Influencers who’ve built a genuine audience are doing a fantastic job in distributing content that resonates with the right people.

For example, even though The New York Times is considered traditional, it made significant progress towards influencer marketing by purchasing FakeLove, an influencer marketing, and analytics agency, which in its portfolio includes campaigns for a variety of big brands, including Armani, Nordstrom, FedEx, and Buick.

Or, Forbes’s BrandVoice product that for a certain fee, provides brands with the opportunity to reach a massive audience on through their social media accounts. With that, the brands become influencers on their own, as opposed to hiring celebrities.

7. Telling More “Stories”

The social media “Stories” format is already viewed by millions of people online (500 million on Instagram). According to Reuters, Stories will outperform feeds as the main content sharing channel.

Instagram Quatrtz

Source: Instagram


Stories are a perfect reinterpretation of the regular articles for the mobile-focused social media platforms.

Instagram stories

Source: Instagram

They also have a much more engaging content format than any other platform, with studies showing that up to 25% of followers will click on a link when motivated to do so in a Story.

Whether used to redirect users to a product or an article link, the Stories content format is one of the go-to trends that publishers will continue to capitalize on in 2020.

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Wrapping Up

Staying on top of publishing trends should not be that stressful. After all, 2020 is expected to be a busy year for digital publishers.

The current pandemic crisis spreading around the world, the perpetual social media updates, as well as the ever-changing consumer trends, will push publishers to adapt to the environment and innovate their content approaches.

Are there any other digital publishing trends that we forgot to cover in this article? Let us know in the comments.