Over the past two years, the media have seen the number of their subscribers increase significantly and have been able to diversify their revenues thanks to the conquest of digital subscribers and new targets. In a world facing various asymmetric shocks (Covid-19, conflict in Ukraine) where public trust in the media becomes a key strategic issue, what are the new opportunities for the media and how to capitalize on technology to continue to produce qualified information, generate growth and retain their audiences?
The health crisis has enabled the media to strengthen the bond that unites them with their audiences. Thus, news sites have seen their audience explode. The worldfor example, clearly dominates the scene with its claimed 414,000 digital subscribers. Le Figaro has 400,000 subscribers, including 250,000 digital subscribers (a figure growing by 60% over two years, according to The echoes). Television also experienced renewed interest during the crisis (+5% average audience), establishing itself as the main source of information for the French with online newspapers. The non-stop news channels also had their share of the pie.
Technology at the service of information
Today, with news that remains as dense as it is complex and with the identified risk of misinformation on social networks, the public is once again on the lookout for reliable sources. A new opportunity then arises for the media, which have a very important role to play here. They must seize it by relying on technological innovation to produce more qualitative, didactic and enlightened information.
It is now clear that artificial intelligence, machine learning and data enable publishers and journalists to be more efficient in finding, understanding, planning and publishing relevant content. Thanks to these technologies, the journalist is able to keep up with the ever-increasing breadth of global news and generate more and more qualitative, factual and verified content, in less time and at a lower cost. The question today is how these technologies can fit into the value chain of a media and enhance the work of journalists.
Crisis situations, like the war in Ukraine, are indeed conducive to the development of fake news, a context that further complicates the work of journalists. Artificial intelligence (AI) makes it possible to verify the authenticity of information by analyzing metadata and comparing information with databases, thus giving journalists the possibility of detecting intoxes and preventing their spread.
Retain an audience
In addition, thanks to AI, several repetitive tasks can also be automated, allowing journalists to free up time to focus on in-depth articles. Data visualization, on the other hand, allows journalists to produce more educational or “augmented” information with reports and visuals that include the key data of the subject allowing readers to see it more clearly. Finally, automation helps get this rich content to the right target at the right time by optimizing the customer journey and creating engagement with the audience. The combined objective of these technologies is of course to better explain information in order to build public trust, generate a qualified audience and retain it.
If the media have understood that it is in their interest to master innovations, it seems complicated without investment accompanied by a good deployment strategy and the necessary skills. However, the latter are often lacking in media professionals: 60% of journalists surveyed as part of the analysis of the “Journalism AI Report” report that they feel concerned by the impact that AI can have on their profession. However, few newsrooms have qualitative and quantitative databases to allow exploitation by AI. Therefore, to exploit the potential of all these technologies, the media will have to call on experts who fully master them in order to support them in their approach.