Digital media managers meet up at the second Distributed Content Summit at Axel Springer in Berlin

The number of platforms for distributing media content is constantly growing. Offers like Facebook Instant Articles, Snapchat Discover and Instagram Video introduce new ways of online communication, especially for publishing companies. But how can digital media managers use these properly, what kind of opportunities could be used for monetisation and what risks hide behind those trends?

Axel Springer hosted the international Distributed Content Summit in Berlin on July 11, 2017, for the second time now to address these and other issues. The conference, organized by Bild, gave more than 60 managers of 28 international media brands the chance to exchange their general experiences with the distribution of journalistic content via social platforms, as well as to discuss trends in the industry. The participants represented leading media brands from 13 countries.

Stefan Betzold, managing director Bild Digital, said: “New platforms attract more and more users as well as additional time of media usage. That’s why we as publishers have to test those platforms to have a better understanding of them, in order to present our content in the best way possible. The second Distributed Content Summit presented an intensive exchange of experiences. Despite some progress, especially monetization continues to remain a difficulty. It should also be in the interest of the platform providers’ success to listen better and respond more effectively to publishers’ requirements in the future.”

A survey among the participants of the Distributed Content Summit showed that only 33 per cent (2016: 21 per cent) of the media and publishing houses positively evaluate the possibility of how their brand identity can be presented on the distribution platforms. Only 13 per cent (2016: 3 per cent) of the respondents are satisfied with the metrics and user data that the platforms provide, 58 per cent (2016: 81 per cent) still see strong deficits. This holds especially true for the current monetisation models offered by the platforms (marketing and paid content), which are still being criticised as insufficient by 85 per cent of the media managers (2016: 94 per cent).

The dissatisfaction of the media managers is even more evident in the assessment of the willingness to cooperate as part of the collaboration between publishers and platform providers. If the communication to publishers’ requirements is already rated as insufficient, it is especially the lack of implementation of those requirements by the platform providers that disappoints.

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