Online publishing is a difficult game to master. When you don’t have the comfort of a steady subscription base, you need to rely on ad revenue. That’s how companies like Mashable and BuzzFeed keep the lights on. But as traffic to these sites and other established publishers plateaus, some companies are planning for the worst.
One particularly telling stat came from Brian Nowak, of Morgan Stanley, who stated that in Q1 of 2016, 85 cents of every new dollar spent in online advertising will go to Google or Facebook. That doesn’t leave much for the rest, and neither Facebook nor Google seem to show signs of slowing growth, but that doesn’t mean all is lost.
Moving forward, many publishers will look to pivot in order to survive. Some suggest the possibility of partnerships with larger companies like Facebook and Google, while others suggest more independent approaches like branded videos and sponsored stories. It still remains to be seen who will be able to adapt to this shift in ad spending, but it’s certain to spark a new venue, just as the shift from print to digital did for online publishing years ago.