The 21st-century human consumes a lot of data. In 2009, UCSD published a report estimating that an average American consumes 34 gigabytes of data each day in video games, movies, tv, and radio. That's a 350% increase in the amount of data consumed in 1980.
Furthermore, by March 2020, the pandemic-driven lockdown made people adopt a work from home culture, with companies being forced to allow a remote workforce. Data consumption continues to increase, and in the fourth quarter of 2021, averages hit 536.3 gigabytes (GB).
People are consuming content at staggering rates, and the majority of this content consumed via mobile apps exclusively. With that said, staying relevant and competitive in this digital generation requires finding new ways to keep content engaging to generate organic traffic.
The big question is 'How to stay ahead in the game?
Let's take a look at some more facts and survey results. Nielsen released its Audience Report at the end of 2018, confirming what most people already knew intuitively: consumers are multitasking and using multiple media devices at the same time. For example, only 12% of those polled did not use a digital device while watching television.
According to data from March 2020, the average American adult spent 3.46 minutes per day on mobile apps, a 1.24-minute increase over the 2018 Nielsen survey.
TikTok was the most downloaded app in 2020. YouTube has launched a beta version of YouTube Shorts, which features 15-second videos and is similar to TikTok.
63 percent of people aged 18 to 34 watch live-streaming content on a regular basis, and with YouTube's tipping functionality, independent artists like Harry Mack can grow their businesses without having to sign with a record label.
Consumers are inundated with options, and content quality expectations have skyrocketed in comparison to just a few years ago. As a result, when reading, watching TV, or listening to the news, American adults frequently engage in two additional media-related activities.
Vanilla blogs are losing their following due to a lackluster outlook and are no longer capable of producing high-quality content that people will read. As a result, businesses such as Bumble, Mailchimp, and Microsoft are investing in high-quality Content Distribution Platforms (CDPs) to meet consumer demand.
CDPs enable businesses to create clean, high-quality content that people want to read. Here's an example of Courier, a recently acquired publication by Mailchimp.
It's easiest to think of a Content Distribution Platform (CDP) as a specialized, publishing-centric Content Management System (CMS). Rather than a blogging engine, a CMS with a high-performance publishing engine.
Because the majority of CDPs are custom-built on top of existing CMS platforms like Drupal and WordPress, there is no standard feature set, and it is critical to shop around and consider your organization's unique needs when looking to upgrade to a CDP. Over the past year, a number of CDPs have emerged, offering greater flexibility and ease of use than traditional CDPs such as WordPress.
Building a custom solution is the most popular option to have the most control over functionality and presentation. However, there are three significant drawbacks: development costs, time to market, and maintenance costs.
Unless you have specific business needs, it's best to choose an existing Content Management System (CMS) and configure it to function as a CDP.
There are hundreds of CMS options for your business, but only a few stand out. WordPress and Drupal have been around for nearly two decades. Contentful, DatoCMS, GraphCMS, Sanity, and NetlifyCMS are some of the new ones that stand out.
WordPress is an open-source Content Management System (CMS) that was first made available in 2003. It is written in PHP and runs on a MySQL database.
Originally designed as a blogging platform, it has since evolved into a CMS and is now used to power e-commerce stores, membership sites, and learning platforms. As a result, it has grown in popularity, and as of May 2021, it powers 36.4 percent of the top 10,000 websites on the Internet. It has a 42 percent market share as of June 2021.
There isn't a standardized way to build a CDP on WordPress, and what you get will be determined by spend and the quality of your developers. If your budget allows, we recommend hiring a reputable interactive agency, creating a custom theme, and devoting a significant amount of time to QA once the project is finished.
Spamming the Internet with mediocre content that you wouldn't read is equivalent to shouting at the ocean.
Drupal launched in January 2001 as a Web Framework (WF), which can configure to function as a CMS. Under the hood, it runs on Symphony, an open-source PHP framework with unit testing, object-relational mapping, and a templating language.
As of May 2021, it powers 12.8% of the top 10,000 websites on the Internet, maintaining a 1.4% market share, with usage declining over the past year.
Drupal's powerful taxonomy makes it a good choice for CDPs with interconnected content, such as University websites and Destination Travel Sites. However, the backend is dated, the editing experience is slow, and you'll need to invest a lot of time and money in custom development to create something of high quality. Don't forget about Drupal's steep learning curve, which can slow down overall development.
Contentful is a modern headless CMS delivering content as an API. It's a commercial SaaS product with monthly fees ranging from free (for the community edition) to thousands of dollars. It powers 2.3 percent of the top 10,000 websites on the Internet.
Contentful is an excellent headless CMS. In fact, it powers our website (storypro.io). Modeling content is quick and simple, and the development tooling is excellent. We combine it with Turbo and Stimulus to make the entire site lightning fast.
In terms of using it as a CDP, it may make sense for a multi-channel content-based business (such as a newspaper) that wants complete control over content modeling and is willing to invest a significant amount of resources in building out the front-end.
Everything, including user management, commenting systems, taxonomies, and page rendering logic, will be built by your team. Of course, you'll also have to keep it up.
There aren't many options for licensing a CDP. You could repurpose an existing news organization's publishing platform, such as Vox's Chorus or the Washington Post's Arc.
Chorus licensing fees are negotiated on a contract-by-contract basis and are said to range between $6 and $7 per implementation. The monthly licensing fees for Arc range from $10,000 to $150,000 USD.
These licensing costs can be prohibitively expensive for startups and small businesses, especially if they intend to drive only organic traffic to their website. Furthermore, because these CDPs are designed with modern media houses in mind, they may not be suitable for specific industry domains or businesses such as research oriented industry or software industry.
We (StoryPRO) have also created a CDP, and you are currently on it. It can be launched in under 10 minutes and fully operational on your own domain in just a few days. As a result, you don't have to start from scratch and can save a lot of money on development activities.
Certain businesses may find it more cost effective to avoid investing in a CDP entirely and instead use a social publishing platform such as Medium. You will be able to publish high-quality content without having to invest significant resources beyond the cost of creating the content.
The main disadvantage is that their business goals (platform growth) may not coincide with your business goals (the growth of your business). Medium's ability to host under a custom domain was removed in 2018, prompting the above tweet from Basecamp Co-Founder and Ruby on Rails inventor David Heinemeier Hansson.
Custom domain support will be reinstated in September 2020, but it is critical to consider the past when forecasting the future.
You're constantly competing for your visitors' attention, and it's a jungle out there. You're up against social media platforms, major news outlets, Medium articles, YouTube channels, and Spotify podcasts.
To be successful, you must create content that is both interesting and visually appealing. Spamming the Internet with mediocre content that you would never read is akin to yelling at the ocean. As a result, you are generating internet garbage and filling web space with useless content. Instead, you'd be better off allocating more of your marketing budget to ad purchases.