As we continue deeper into 2023, publishers are recognizing the need to adapt to the changing needs of their audience. While publishers have always been concerned with providing value to their readers and authors, the shifting publishing landscape and the rising expectations of readers, authors, reviewers, and institutions have emphasized the importance of catering to audience needs and preferences.

One of the main changes we can expect to see is a newfound eagerness among publishers to become more audience-led in their approach. This means not only understanding the needs and preferences of readers, but engaging with third-party data providers to gain deeper insights into their audience. As content becomes more abundant and accessible, it will become even more important to connect readers with the information they care about. 

Another key trend is a focus on making the author journey from initial engagement through to publication as seamless as possible. This means not only streamlining the submission and review process, but also fostering stronger relationships with authors throughout the publication process.

In the 2023 Publishing Tech Trends report, Hum and Silverchair asked industry pros to share their predictions for the coming year. See what our panel of experts had to say about the way publishers will interact differently with their audiences this year: 

  • Helping audiences in their research journeys, ensuring all the tools they need are at their fingertips. Making the author journey from initial engagement with us through to publication a seamless one. Fostering relationships with authors and users in a way that we haven't done in the past. —Tanya Laplante, Oxford University Press
  • Data - know and leverage your audience (and engage with 3rd parties to do this). —Neil Christensen, Oable
  • Publishers need to become more audience-led. Not only in terms of author experience (which I think everyone is coming to understand is very important), but also in terms of deeply understanding readers. Ultimately, a lot more listening. But because this has got to be done at scale, it means a lot more data and a lot more analysis. Publishers will become more data-focused and data-facile. —John Challice, Hum
  • Publishers creating different audience journeys around content and services. —Heather Staines, Delta Think
  • Elife is leading the way in experimentation, much to the dismay of the industry. Old guard publishers are trying to prove they're relevant by jumping on the APC bandwagon. —Sven Molter, PLOS
  • Engagement with early career researchers. —Rebecca Moakes, Maverick Publishing Specialists
  • Continued community building; both supporting the growing momentum behind the tens of thousands of journals published in the Global South and for those publishers in the Global North wanting to move to open. Mark Huskisson, The Husk Agency

As publishers recognize the need to adapt to the changing needs and preferences of their audience, they’re looking to become more audience-led, data-driven, and community-focused in their approach, as well as providing comprehensive tools and resources to support readers and authors throughout the publication process. 

Publishers who are able to embrace these changes will be better positioned to compete in the years ahead. Interested in seeing what other predictions our leading experts have forecasted for 2023? Download your full copy of the report, free.