Publishers Are Missing the Point: Private Browsing Isn’t a Roadblock, It’s a Road Map

With the latest update to Apple’s Safari browser preventing sites from detecting when visitors have private browsing enabled, publishers are once again up in arms that a major platform is rendering their paywalls useless. They’re missing the point. Data privacy is top of mind for most consumers, and the tech platforms are all building off of this movement to evolve their products, just as their audience has evolved. When it comes to building reader revenue, publishers need to take a leaf from Apple’s book – hear what consumers want, adjust to meet their needs and engage with them to generate revenues while also protecting their privacy.

Key Points

  • Publishers are putting increased efforts into growing reader-generated revenue, and users being able to circumvent a paywall will naturally impact that goal.
  • But Apple is not out to punish publishers, they are following through on a commitment to improving data privacy.
  • Apple knows that right now users are focused on data privacy – they’re just listening to their customers and reacting accordingly.
  • Evolving with the market is second nature to a company like Apple, but it still doesn’t come naturally to the publishing industry.
  • Publishers aren’t thinking outside the box, but are instead looking at tactics that attempt to maintain the status quo.
  • Publishers need to take a leaf from the big tech companies’ playbook – listen to what’s actually important to your audience and build from there.
  • Publishers should consider this an opportunity to explore alternative reader monetization options that are more effective and user-centric. 
  • They should also stop trying to mirror what other publications are doing, and instead choose a path that best suits them and their audiences.
  • Publishers need to offer readers the content they value, on the terms that are acceptable to them.

Check out my full article here.

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