Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence

How AI Enables Reader Revenue Growth For Publishers

Explore on how to use Artificial Intelligence (AI) for driving revenue growth in digital publishing

Written by: Shantha

Gone are the days where Artificial Intelligence (AI) was but a catch phrase that large sections of the world’s population associated with science fiction. Today, it's a household name (and product—hello, Alexa!) that requires little introduction or explanation. It has a plethora of applications and uses in the business world—from the mundane, everyday to the awe-inspiring, breathtaking. However, the acceptance of AI in mainstream society is still a new phenomenon. It’s no secret that artificial intelligence is disrupting pretty much every industry; and every business process within it.

The media and publishing industry have already been significantly disrupted by digital as well. Take for instance the shift from mass to personalised media. And as a result of more and more people having to stay indoors recently, the surge in media consumption is no surprise. What’s more, smart devices give the power of selection entirely to the user, forcing publishers to serve large volumes of relevant, valuable, quality content, in order to survive.

Media’s acceptance and adoption of digital so far has allowed many to reach a wider audience and personalise their experiences. The digital transformation is still far from over. Among the many reasons for cancelling a newspaper subscription, a significant percentage is linked to ‘perceived low value’. So, where does that leave the industry?

AI: Catalysing Reader Revenue Growth

Let’s be clear: the role of a journalist or reporter in creating valuable, quality content is sacred. But quality content is no longer enough to maintain loyal readership. To gain a competitive advantage, publishers must leverage AI to deliver the industry’s holy grail—customised and dynamic experiences that keep readers engaged and returning.

Let’s take a quick look at what AI can do to grow reader revenue.

Prediction of churn-likelihood

Given the large datasets publishers have access to, you could truly reap the benefits from being able to deeply understand and predict your readers’ content consumption habits. Wouldn’t it be fantastic to predict the likelihood of a customer who might churn but could be worthwhile to keep? According to a recent WAN-IFRA report, prediction of churn-likelihood is one of five top applications for AI currently. What this means is that as a publisher you can develop a model that will help you acquire new readers, keep existing readers happy and build loyalty. Needless to say, knowing the best and worst content formats for specific traffic sources or increasing retention by addressing customers at a high risk of churning will automatically push up your reader and revenue numbers.


Chatbots in customer service

One of the cleverest ways for AI to support a publisher through optimisation is deploying a chatbot. As with any business, yours is probably looking to serve potential readers with the most personalised experience possible. Chatbots play the crucial role of on-demand service, recommendations and responses—your reader or potential subscriber need look no further. The ability to ask questions and receive accurate information in real-time is the customer service magic trick of every consumer's (and business’) dreams. You learn what your readers are looking for—what every individual reader is looking for—and they in turn have a polite, efficient, informative conversation that keeps them coming back for more. Win-win.

Prediction of conversion-likelihood

It’s hard to know what content to serve to which user and on what device. Knowing this and being able to do it effectively is step one in increasing your reader engagement and content consumption. If we were to take it a step further, serving the right kind of advertisements, i.e. contextualised media, seamlessly blending in with your content and page aesthetics will improve engagement even further. The icing on the cake though is having the AI tools to analyse your reader behaviour to the extent of being able to predict who to show a paywall or registration wall to—determining who will convert and whom to leave alone. Another unquestionable win-win.

These are but some of the ways in which AI tools can be a huge leverage for reader revenue growth. Some others include market-based-pricing and individualised paywalls. Allow your journalists to focus on the news, AI can help with the rest.