Change is the one constant in publishing, and 2022 is no exception. Publishers across disciplines are prepared to see the end of the third party cookie. In response, they’ve started building infrastructure to capture and leverage first-party data. More still are continually adjusting to a post-Covid world. They’re adapting to new reader and author behavior, preferences, and consumption patterns. 

Execs across STM publishing, commercial publishing, and the nonprofit sector are looking for new ways to drive advertising revenue, monetize content, and identify unknown audiences via modern uses of publishing data intelligence.  

While 2022’s future looks hazy for many, one thing is certain: data is central to the publishing industry’s next great evolution. To understand these trends and crowdsource some ideas for the future, we and our sister company Silverchair caught up with five publishing industry leaders to share their predictions for 2022. 

Publisher Panel of Experts:

Data Pub Pannel

Allison Belan, Director for Strategic Innovation and Services, Duke University Press

Dominik Pucek, Group Product Manager, McGraw Hill

Colleen Scollans, Practice Lead: Marketing & Customer Experience, Clarke & Esposito

Micah Vandegrift, Open Knowledge Librarian / Visiting Program Officer for Association of Research Libraries Accelerating the Social Impact of Research, NC State University

Heather Staines, Senior Consultant and Dir. Community Engagement OA Data & Analytics Tool, Delta Think

What do you see as the number one opportunity for publishers to drive more revenue in 2022?

To drive revenue, publishers will need to improve the quality of customer data - zero and first party, specifically. - Colleen Scollans

I am really sorry for saying so, but the way NFTs are going I could see someone coming to my desk and saying, 'what can we do to make some extra money in this area?' - Dominik Pucek

Niche sales to institutions. Budget uncertainty over the last couple of years means that libraries may have opted to not subscribe or fill in certain areas. With more certainty in their budgets, they are looking to fill those gaps on priority titles or subject areas. - Allison Belan

Publishers will learn to develop transformative Open Access deals - Micah Vandegrift

Publishers will use data to right-size their APCs on a journal-by-journal basis. I think of this as the "Moneyball" of OA (but libraries/institutions will do the same--so game on!) - Heather Staines

In what ways will publishers adapt with the death of the third-party cookie?

I don't think they will, I think there will be an inevitable row over it. Chrome can't dictate the use of cookies for everyone and their business, and it won't be a fast changeover. - Dominik Pucek

Publishers will get more involved in standards and infrastructure initiatives so they have a seat at the table for these wider issues that affect them. - Heather Staines

They’ll invest in customer data infrastructures that extend beyond what CRM and marketing automation tools can deliver. Focus on providing value in exchange for data collection. - Colleen Scollans

In what ways will we see publishers adapt in 2022 to appeal to younger readers?

I think we’ll likely see a shift from text-based "publication" to media-based "production" of content. - Micah Vandegrift

Publishers will need to improve their social media strategies alongside their mobile delivery. - Heather Staines

Utilizing multimedia, content marketing, and influencers as a core part of a modern social media strategy. - Colleen Scollans

I don't think it's crazy to see something like a book club or something like that happening in Fortnite or Roblox. - Dominik Pucek

Which technologies or resources will increase in importance for publishers in 2022, and why?

Publishers will need to develop simpler solutions--they may not be as customized or configurable, but they are more stable, less brittle, and more scalable. - Allison Belan

I hope we will see publishers follow other industries and choose best-in-breed marketing technology over the complex, costly, and limiting monolithic marketing automation suites. Single Customer View, personalization, conversion optimization, campaign planning, marketing asset management, and marketing analytics top list of marketing technology investment. - Colleen Scollans

Machine learning (i.e. Scite), metadata standardization and integration, seamless open access business operations (i.e. OASwitchboard). The why to each of these is because that is what libraries will be more and more willing to pay for. - Micah Vandegrift

Blockchain, NFT, SSO. I think there's also a slew of upcoming content that will be making it into the public domain, and some of that will be leveraged over 2022. - Dominik Pucek

Data analysis will be the #1 technical capability that publishers will need to master in 2022. - Heather Staines

More 2022 Publisher Predictions


Many thanks to Allison, Dominik, Colleen, Micah and Heather for sharing their predictions around how publishers should be thinking about data and growth in 2022. Interested in hearing some of their predictions around the evolution of content strategy? Check out the companion piece on Silverchair’s blog. 

Unify Publishing Content + Data

Unify your Publishing Content and Data in one place with Silverchair and Hum. Our family of PubTech tools is purpose-built to help publishers keep up with the ever-changing reader and author landscape. Silverchair helps publishers to bring all their content together (journals, books, meetings, education, news, multimedia, and more), improving user experience and opening new product opportunities. Hum’s Customer Data Platform unifies and mobilizes data across publishers’ entire technology suite, providing one golden record of reader, author and subscriber activity. 

Interested in learning which technology trends will drive success for publishers in the year ahead?

Download your free copy of Hum & Silverchair’s 2022 Technology Trends Report.