Dennis, India Today, Ebner, Future, The Economist and HBR on 2018 Media Tech Trends


Nick Flood, product and commercial operations director, Dennis Publishing

“So there’s been a lot of disruption obviously over the last couple of years. Media agencies as you say are coming under a lot of pressure as well. And I think publishers have that trust in their audience, so now more than ever they can actually engage them in a different way. At Dennis we have an ecommerce transactional website called BuyaCar. We’re selling cars online – hundreds of cars a month – making millions of pounds of revenue. Five years ago that would never have been imaginable. So I think publishers have a huge opportunity at the moment to find out what their customers really want and then position themselves accordingly.”

Nick Flood ()

“Definitely a major focus around ecommerce. We’re doing a lot around affiliates and transactional things on our websites. We’re also looking at websites a lot more seriously. Take Google AMP for example, I think it’s going to be a complete game changer actually for the way people consume content. So we’re going to go ‘All-in’ on it, because I think it’s going to be a vital part of your publishing strategy.”

“I think publishers are going to have a lot more direct relationships with their clients, rather than through the agencies – I think that’s going to become an ever increasing thing. I think publishers will also have more direct relationships with their audiences as well, be it for increased newsletter usage, direct or bespoke communication with them. And also I think one of the other key trends will be a complete switch, or switch in mindset amongst publishers, around monetisation, be that ecommerce, data sales. Display is still there, most definitely, but it’s becoming harder and harder to not only deliver those campaigns but also win them.”  


Gerrit Klein, CEO, Ebner Media Group

“Well first of all we think that artificial intelligence and VR and all that stuff, that’s a lot of cloud, that’s a lot of tools, and nothing else. It’s not at the core of the things we are dealing with. The core of the things we are dealing with is content, and the content has to be good, it has to be excellent. And that for us needs to be the biggest trend that we have to be: that we produce the right content. For us, that’s the main thing that we have to deal with. And content may be it is written, it is filmed, it is during an event, it may be a presentation. There are different channels through which to present that content. But content is the main thing, it’s the core that we are dealing with, and then we have to develop the different channels – for us in the next year events will be a really big play that we are dealing with.”

Gerrit Klein Ebner ()

“If we want to fight against Google or Facebook, if we consider them an enemy, that’s rearguard action. That has to do with the past and not the future. They are there, they exist, and you can work with them, you can deal with them, and we get a lot of traffic through Google, which is extremely important for us to get traffic to our website. We get a lot of traffic through Facebook, which is extremely important in some of our audiences to reach the people. Therefore, we can work with them, we can deal with them, and we consider them to be excellent tools to reach our audiences. We have nothing against them, we use them.”

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Loveena Tandon, UK and Europe correspondent, India Today

India Today Loveena Tandon ()

“I think algorithms, and using robots to do things, from this to the driverless cars I think this kind of techie world is a challenge which I think will be able to defeat, but let’s see where we go with that. That’s one thing I’m really looking forward to. More platforms, social media platforms, and to get more accustomed with it – I don’t know what is coming next, but we just have to lap it up. We just have to be somehow ready. And it’s like a constantly fast developing story, this world of media has just developed so much from a big camera, to a medium camera to an iPhone, I think we have come a very long way – and there’s a long way still to go, so just be ready for it!”


Rachel Shaw, licensing account director, Future Publishing

Rachel Shaw ()

“For Future, we’re really looking at digital licensing and our websites. How we can grow that area and make it into something that will create a really high revenue stream for us? So digital is one thing we are looking at. And I guess it’s just about finding the right verticals to create the opportunities, because licensing is a difficult game, so we just need to be on top of the next big thing.”


Yanna Wilson-Fischer, director, North America Marketing and Global Experiential, The Economist

“Young people are absolutely engaged. We see a huge response from college students from Asia to North America, so we really want to foster those types of partnerships. We feel that they are invaluable to the brand and to the company and helping us sustain who we are. But also I think it is important to kind of play up that legacy. There’s nothing wrong with the fact that we were established in 1843, but I also think it’s important to show that we were the first publication to come out and endorse gay marriage, we are very much at the forefront I think it’s just about us positioning that content to specific people.”

Yanna Wilson-Fischer ()

“I think publishers should be embracing experiences, experiences, experiences – both online and offline. And I think there’s been a lot of focus just on the digital space and what the experience is there and what that user faces when they go to a digital platform, but I think real-world experiences is going to be the next trend. People want to have that genuine interaction with a brand. And then I also think mission driven brands and cause driven brands will be another trend. People want to hear: is the paper that we print on sustainable? Which it is. Is it recyclable? Yes it is. And then what other greater causes are we bringing to the forefront, right to die, gender equality, these are all things that The Economist covers, and beyond us I think that’s a trend that you’re seeing in industries across the board.”  


Joshua Macht, publisher, Harvard Business Review

In a separate conversation, Jessica Patterson spoke to Harvard Business Review Publisher Josh Macht for his thoughts for 2018. In 2017, Harvard Business Review’s print magazine underwent a redesign, ensuring that it still had a certain gravitas and made a statement. They also experimented with bots on social platforms as a way for audiences to engage with HBR content. “Slack was becoming more and more part of workdays around the world,” Maureen Hoch, senior editor at HBR told us in May. And in September, they launched a Facebook bot to increase the number people having regular, frequent interactions with HBR.

***Meet Maureen at FIPP and VDZ’s 11th Digital Innovators Summit (19-20 March 2018 in Berlin, Germany) where she will speak about these and other developments. For more and/or to sign up, visit***


We asked HBR Publisher Josh Macht about his expectations for 2018.

Josh Macht Congress 2017 ()

“I never love my predictions — nothing ever turns out the way you think it will,” he said.

“But in 2018, we may see the continuation of some trends that are deeply impacting media.

“For example, Facebook and other social media are clearly dealing with what it means to be a grown-up media company.

“Not sure if the government will weigh in, but it’s possible. I think we’ll also begin to see companies like Snap, which have stumbled a bit, find their footing as significant media players.

“Lastly, I think we’ll continue to see downward trends for most print media, but the good news is that we’ll also start to see a number of these properties start to get significant traction with their digital reinventions.”

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