November 13th, 2015


The new must-have tool for publishers? Media monitoring

By Joe Brennan for BookMachine

Gone are the days when publishers can rest on their laurels. With disruptive players creating a new environment of competitiveness within the sector, there has never been a greater need for vigilance regarding new developments, both with an eye on potential threats and to exploit competitive advantages.

As such, keeping abreast of news and events has never been more important, and media monitoring and market intelligence has become the go-to solution for millions of businesses. Given that I’ve worked in the space for a little while now, I thought I’d try and outline some of the key reasons for this.

Tools like Google Alerts have been used as a quick, easy way to receive updates for years now but, increasingly, free tools aren’t providing companies with the depth of coverage and information they need to really draw important insight from the news.

Predictably, the tech giants have become interested in giving people this kind of information themselves, keeping consumers within their ‘walled gardens’ as much as possible. Apple News, for example, launched with great fanfare this autumn with a bunch of top publishing partners, such as the New York Times and Buzzfeed.

But up-and-coming platforms like Signal are exploring new niches, allowing you to keep up to date with both the top news sources and with smaller blogs at the same time. Take a look at this sample BookMachine feed, for instance:

Bringing small-scale personal blogs into the same newsfeed as vital sources like The Bookseller is where publishers will truly find value. Keeping up-to-date with crucial sector-wide developments at the same time as having access to the individual writers that communicate so much enthusiasm and passion: surely that’s the best of both worlds?

For many years now, media monitoring has seemed like an expensive, unwieldy version of what people can just as easily get from a free RSS tool like Google Alerts. But new competitors are shaking up the space, giving customers more choice than ever before.

Competition is a fundamentally good thing: the innovation and experimentation that comes from rapid change invariably results in a better experience for the average customer. And publishing is no different. My own work history speaks to this: a few years ago now, I rejected the chance of an internship with a multinational publisher, predominantly because a nagging thought in the back of my mind told me that, well, it just wouldn’t be that exciting. Clearly, looking at the industry’s changes since then, I was wrong!

Having arrived at Signal after a peripatetic detour around a couple of different sectors, I can identify with the thrill that comes with working in a space undergoing substantial change. Other industries serving businesses are also seeing seismic shifts. For instance, just look at what Slack has done for internal messaging. Publishing is in a period of similar upheaval, but with the right tools, it’s becoming easier than ever to transform the way you work and reach new heights of success.

— — — — — — —Originally published at — — — — — —