Consumer Publishing Trends: Micropayments, Platforms, Global

Considering consumer publishing from the point of view of Dennis Publishing, PwC, and others

We’re proud to number a nice mix of successful B2B and B2C magazines among our Mequoda Members. This reflects the potency of the niche strategy + multiplatform publishing combination – it flourishes in both habitats. That said, consumer publishing is of course a key part of digital magazines‘ future, but it doesn’t have some of the hardwired advantages of B2B publishing: a steady built-in (some would say captive) audience; not nearly as much competition in most cases; and more nimble products.

Instead, the world of consumer publishing is wide open. The industry is shift every day. has a few recent stories that reflect that reality. Let’s start the week with them!

Micropayments: How Much Can They Help Digital Publishers?

Well, it depends on whom you ask …

We’ve taken a look at micropayments in the past, and recent Dutch import Blendle is doing well with the model stateside, while many observers say the method of paying for content in increments – or pay as you read, if you will – will catch on as primary form of consumer publishing in the future.

But isn’t buying it.

“Digital has blown up brand monogamy in many markets, but consumer promiscuity has been particularly brutal in publishing. Publishers are seeing more and more of the traffic to their content coming in sideways from search and social media, with many of these casual consumers now blocking the ads that were supposed to pay for it,” Peter Houston writes.

“A system of micropayments that monetises at least part of this drive-by audience has to be worth pursuing, but it would be a mistake for publishers to reduce their primary product to a single unit of content. Swapping subscription income for pay-per-view alternatives threatens every publisher’s core asset – the ongoing relationship they have cultivated with their audience. One-off article payments, even at scale, can never replace the customer value of an ongoing subscription or membership or even from the data captured from long-term engagement. Even the music industry, long the poster child of the micropayments world, has come to realise this.”

Dennis Publishing CEO on Consumer Publishing Trends

Interesting interview with Dennis Publishing CEO James Tye at about consumer publishing preferences, directions, and his own company’s pivots to keep up.


“This whole debate, print, digital, it just feels like ancient history. We just don’t talk about it any more. [Instead] I think there’s a celebration of skills. If you haven’t moved on from that you really do need to now, because your consumers don’t think like that, do they?” Tye tells Chris Sutcliffe.

“We launched Cyclist and we purposefully – at launch, not now – we focused on the print magazine. Then when we launched Car Buyer, it’s a pureplay brand, we just felt there was no more need for a consumer magazine when it comes to choosing the car you buy. That’s where Dennis often starts. You ask ‘can we come up with a brand that satisfies how and where they want to consume the content.'”

PwC Forecasts Next Five Years for Media Companies

Finally, the next installment of PwC’s Global Media Outlook: 2016-2020. This edition covers 13 segments and 54 countries, according to, which relays some of the results.

“The influence of youth is clearly manifest in a number of PwC’s predictions for a number of media verticals. Globally, their website states, magazine revenue for consumer and trade publications is projected to be ‘virtually flat through 2020, experiencing a compound annual decline of 0.1 percent,'” Damian Radcliffe writes.

“However, this trend will be bucked in those emerging markets – such as Peru (+6.3 percent CAGR) India (+4.1 percent) and Indonesia (+3.4 percent) – nations which enjoy both a growing professional class and sizeable youth populations.”

Which consumer publishing trends are you following? Let us know in the comments!

To read more about consumer publishing and other industry news, visit


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