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Three Key Digital Publishing Trends in 2021

June 1, 2021

As a publisher, it’s vital to stay on top of digital publishing trends and evolve with the changes in the industry. If you don’t, you risk falling behind and losing out on revenue. At the same time, early adopters will steal opportunities out from under you – and, as far as the experts are concerned, opportunities abound.

While there are several new, upcoming, and evolving trends that publishers should be aware of, we’re going to focus on three critically crucial digital publishing trends for 2021.

Search Is Continually Evolving

People don’t search for information the way they did 20, 10, or even five years ago. Search is continually evolving, and publishers must adapt. Google and similar prominent players, like Facebook, typically define these trends by coming up with new ways to interpret digital content. In 2014, it introduced us to featured snippets, while 2018 saw the launch of Google Discover.

Other trends include the rising emphasis on topical authority and content value rather than keywords and the use of schemas to help search engines understand your content. It’s critical for publishers to adopt a flexible, agile approach so that they can quickly adapt to any new search trends.

Privacy Laws, User Data, and Why Publishers Need to Take Control

The last few years have seen privacy concerns rising exponentially, so much so that some countries have taken legal steps to protect online user data. Consequently, third-party cookies will soon become a thing of the past, affecting how the advertising ecosystem works.

You can take advantage of this trend by taking more control of their ad space through direct deals and adopting new ad bidding technologies.

Additionally, gathering and using first-party data will also be critical. Publishers may need to improve their hosting infrastructure to provide a quality experience while securely gathering first-hand insights into their visitors.

Video and Audio Are Growing Rapidly

According to the annual forecast by Activate Consulting, video and audio content provide many digital publishing opportunities. The company found that video consumption takes up about 40% of the time users spend on digital content, while audio takes up a further 20%.

Image Source: Activate Outlook 2021

With the rapid rise in viewership, publishers need to find ways to include video and audio in their content strategies. Not only will it provide additional avenues for users to find your content through search, but it also opens more opportunities for monetization and revenue diversification.


There’s no denying that the digital publishing ecosystem is growing a lot more complex. However, these changes and evolving trends are creating a lot of opportunities.

In fact, some say that publishers are being dealt a hand from a new deck that’s stacked in their favor. They have the chance to exploit new search methods, take control over user and first-party data, and utilize fast-growing content to increase their viewership and revenue.

Now that you know which trends to focus on and how to spot these opportunities, it’s time to adapt your publishing strategy to take advantage of them.

is the Director of Catalog & Traffic at Softonic.
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