By Vipul Mistry

The industry is reflecting on the past year and trying to predict what changes will come in the new year. Publishers will continue to build on the momentum of the past year, while returning to their roots, with an increased value placed on things like user experience and e-newsletters.

Here are 5 of the many publishing trends that we are bound to see in 2018:

Focus will return to user experience

A publisher’s objective is to keep readers engaged so they consume more content and spend more time on the site. The question is, how do publishers accomplish this? They do it by improving the website experience. This process starts with quicker page load speed and a cleaner ad experience. Publishers also need to eliminate pop-ups, remove excess content recommendations and turn off audio on videos so that readers are less overwhelmed. To continue improving the user experience in 2018, you should expect to see more ad experiences that are natively integrated into the content to create a more seamless effect. When publishers improve the user experience, ad blocking declines and revenues improve.

Video will stay hot

Video was big in 2017, and it will continue to be a large investment for publishers in 2018 as well. Social media powerhouses Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram continued to be at the forefront of video creation in 2017 with live streams and quick snippets being captured. In 2018, publishers will take a more strategic approach to creating video content. Longer form, higher quality video will be essential to capture a reader’s attention as people become accustomed to watching more video for a longer period of time.

The old is new again

Marketers are becoming more interactive in email, adding new and unique features to capture a reader’s attention, especially when it comes to mobile. The email newsletter is no longer a static document, but, instead, it is a living, breathing entity that can be easily updated as news develops and stories change.

A refined programmatic approach

AppNexus’ CEO Brian O’Kelley coined the phrase “supply-path optimization (SPO),” referring to the ways advertisers optimize the path to the advertising inventory they want. On the other side, publishers are taking a more streamlined and refined approach to working with buying partners. Publishers need to provide additional insights and analysis to optimize performance for the right buyers. This process helps reveal which partners best connect publishers directly with buyers. Offering customers greater transparency and trust across the buying process will yield long-term success.

Moving beyond digital ads

More and more publishers are thinking of ways to increase revenue beyond digital ads. I continuously see publishers thinking about subscriptions or micropayments to access unique content. Commerce is also a huge opportunity for certain publishers. With online shopping continuing to grow, a well detailed path to buying products can, and should, be created by publishers.