Consumer magazine circulation and advertising continue to spiral down, with notable exceptions at the top of the market and in a handful of key genres, triggering ever greater revenue diversification and innovation The market is fundamentally over-supplied and the gap between successful portfolios and the glut of secondary titles is growing. Furthermore, the distribution and retail supply chain hang by a thread There are some encouraging signs. Publishers are evolving, with their strategies and leadership capabilities increasingly defined by the needs of the industry they serve rather than the publishing brands they exploit, bringing the consumer model closer to more thoroughbred B2B models
Google’s Stadia promises the most credible game streaming service yet, but building a subscription bundle of top titles would require an all-out bet in the sector
Google is building its own game studios – to win over others it must overcome a troubled history in gaming, mitigating risks to developer business models and creative integrity
Games are much more technically demanding to stream than video, presenting an advantage to Google, Microsoft and Amazon – and a boost to telecoms network demand, welcomed by operators
Consumers have more shopping options than ever, forcing businesses to expand how and when they offer services. Online giants Amazon and Alibaba are adding physical retail to extend their routes to market
Omnichannel provides consumers an enhanced, seamless brand experience from research and discovery to purchase, delivery and after-sales, and allows businesses to react to changing consumer preferences more flexibly
Next is an omnichannel success story, introducing 48-hour home delivery in 1988 and online sales in 1999. Its market-leading fashion ecommerce business offers lessons on the future of retail
Amazon’s recent deals with Apple in TV, music and device sales mark a turning point after a decade of frosty relations
The context for this involves shifting priorities at both firms, growing pressure on Apple’s iPhone business, and rivals in common — first and foremost Google, but also the likes of Netflix and Spotify
The uneasy alliance helps both companies consolidate their strengths in the platform competition over media and the connected home — but trouble already brews
Amazon is finding women’s fashion, a missing piece of its household-centric model, a tougher nut to crack than downmarket apparel.
Higher-end US department stores are pushing back with an omnichannel model, emphasising long-term partnerships, a clever full-price/outlet model, and experiences which cross the online-offline divide.
In apparel, Amazon and big box retailers have already triumphed over lower-tier American department stores, and even prestigious fashion brands are finding it harder and harder to refuse cooperation with the giants.
The decline in demand in print presents trading challenges, but the more immediate pressures are on the supply side, with a 15% rise in paper prices accentuating the burden of production and distribution costs
With digital advertising growing at stubbornly low rates, UK publishers need to return to their fundamental consumer-centred strengths by switching their strategic attention towards strong brands, curation, and community
The case for specialist, branded publishing media remains robust: products, services, and consumers are still best brought together in an authoritative, trusted media environment. Advertisers and agencies (and also media) have undervalued the effectiveness of those environments, and direct-to-consumer opportunities have been exaggerated by many brands
Yet another annual hype cycle in 2018 can’t hide a tepid consumer appetite for all VR platforms and heavy weather for the industry as a whole
The launch of Oculus GO, a standalone device at an attractive price, is a milestone for VR; nevertheless, even Facebook remains worried about reach and the state of the industry
Mobile AR is still a strategic focus for Google and Apple, producing diverse applications instead of just games, but new headsets from Microsoft and Magic Leap which promise advanced MR experiences have no launch dates
Almost half of Facebook’s impressive revenue growth and turnover is still reliant on the US, where user growth has slowed down
Among GAFA platforms, Facebook’s core business is the one most directly dependent on dwell time, but the metric for the crucial home market is clouded in mystery
The company has yet to create significant compensating revenue streams outside display advertising, raising the importance of international markets for Facebook’s future