Digital media outlets are increasingly dependant on external platforms such as Facebook, Google or Twitter to distribute their content. Fewer and fewer readers access the media directly for information.
This trend has enabled digital media outlets to reach a greater number of users and has provided feedback on news items. But at the same time, editors have lost control over their content to social networks, which are also gaining the majority of income from digital advertising.
Now that they have realised this, media outlets are taking a step back and are increasingly more interested in controlling the distribution of their content (browsing data are essential in new press business models) and in monetising news.
For example, many digital media outlets are abandoning Facebook Instant Articles, precisely because they are not financially profitable. The social network keeps the immense majority of the income generated by these articles.
Another measure adopted is push notifications. This feature allows media outlets to notify their users of leading news items while they work on other windows, as well as sending predefined messages at any time.
The advantages of this tool include immediacy, segmentation, ease of instalment and a direct relationship with the user.
One of the main advantages is immediacy as the user doesn’t have to have the application running to receive its content. Even with their computer or mobile switched off, the server will notify them each time it receives information.
For the message to actually be sent to the user they must have previously subscribed so that the server knows where to send the push notification.
Push notifications can also be a highly effective communication channel as they do not include “spam”. Unlike emails, which can often be blocked by anti-spam filters, when the user grants a website permission to send notifications, it can send as many as it wants and with the content it wants.
OkDiario was one of the first media outlets to implement this type of notification. They have also been adopted by DIRCOMFIDENCIAL and confilegal.com, among other information portals. It is now a widespread tool among digital media outlets in Spain.
Reaching readers “without intermediaries or algorithms”
According to Julen Ariza, CEO of Hadoq the success of this tool lies in the fact that push notifications “allow editors to target their readers without intermediaries or algorithms”.
Another advantage is A|B Testing, which compares two different versions of a website to see which better meets its objective and works better. “For example, we can send two different push notifications to part of our audience, measure which version receives most interactions, and send the ‘winner’ to the rest of our readers”, says Ariza.
Push notifications can also be segmented and only reach a specific group of users who adapt to a particular profile, depending on their country of origin, language, app version, etc. Notifications can also be scheduled for a certain time without having to be on top of sending them.
The most commonly used push notifications today have been developed by OneSignal, Roost, PushCrew, PushUp, PushEngage, Pushify, Pushprime, PushAssist, etc.