The publisher’s new head of digital and innovation, Darren Kerry, has joined the growing cadre of international media companies resigned to social platforms and audience aggregators like Facebook, Apple, YouTube, SnapChat, Instagram and Twitter dominating distribution of their professional content over their own masthead websites and mobile apps.
Mr Kerry told The Australian Financial Review that the tech-media giants would likely generate bigger audience numbers consuming Pacific’s diverse content than its own digital and print assets within two years, possibly sooner. Its titles include Better Homes & Gardens, Men’s Health, Marie Claire, InStyle and Home Beautiful.
“A large driver of traffic to websites or to mobile apps is coming from social and I think such communities are absolutely going to take a lion’s share,” he said. “Effectively we’ll become not so critical to businesses. Those networks, I believe, absolutely are going to take a large proportion and are going to challenge people’s own websites and digital properties.”
When asked for a time frame, Mr Kerry said: “Obviously Australia is going to lag behind America but everything happens so quickly in digital I would envisage 18 months to 24 months.”
Moving at pace to reinvent
Mr Kerry said Pacific – which is part of Kerry Stokes’s Seven West Media – was moving at pace to reinvent its enterprise and content management systems to spin content to any media and audience platform automatically and to integrate its coming e-commerce ventures.
Pacific’s digital team will total nearly 40 people in the coming weeks versus less than five, three months ago. He said indicative of how important professional legacy media content was to social platforms like Facebook and Twitter –radio, news media, TV and magazines dominated Facebook user engagement and popularity. “We [Pacific] have seven of the top 15 spots for user engagement on Facebook in Australia for the first quarter of this year,” he said. “Our content is in high demand.”
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