The Digital Publishing Landscape
Written by Casey Botticello
Digital publishing includes the digital publication of e-books, digital magazines, and the development of digital libraries and catalogues. It also includes an editorial aspect, that consists of editing books, journals or magazines that are mostly destined to be read on a screen (computer, e-reader, tablet, smartphone).
However, in the context of digital content creation as part of the growing passion economy, digital publishing specifically refers to a subset of platforms that help content creators:
These platforms all help content creators connect with and monetize an audience. Some of the popular tools offered by these platforms to entice content creators are hosted blogging platforms, newsletter creation platforms, e-commerce tools, membership subscription services, and premium gated content.
What is The Passion Economy?
Over the past four decades, most workers have been losing out in terms of negotiating power and wages. Globalization, the decline of unions and automation have made it significantly harder for the middle class to thrive.
For workers, this economy meant that it was best to conform, to follow the rules and show employers that they could accommodate their needs. Not following the rules meant taking risks that could jeopardize your livelihood. But becoming a mere cog in the well-oiled machine of the mass economy came with its trade-off: job stability and a decent pay.
However, this trade-off has lead to many workers having to work long hours in jobs that they hate, merely to survive. Many of those who have opted out of the “traditional” workforce are part of the gig economy.
This “gig economy” was marketed as the path to increased personal freedom and the chance to “be your own boss.”
In the gig economy, workers could easily monetize their time in specific, narrow services like food delivery, parking, or transportation. The platforms were convenient for both the user and the provider: since they took care of traditional business hurdles like customer acquisition and pricing, they allowed the worker to focus solely on the service rendered.
While these gig platforms offered workers some increased control of their time, the work was still largely unsatisfying to many.
This lead to the rise of the “passion economy,” which is based on individual knowledge-intensive skills, as opposed to commoditization task fulfillment.
Some examples of workers monetizing their individuality through platforms that power the passion economy:
The passion economy is partly driven by a desire from workers to highlight their individuality. But it is also driven by the rise of many digital platforms that have enabled creators to monetize their content, knowledge, or skills. Below are some of the top platforms within the digital publishing sector that are competing for creators (organized by platform vertical).
Digital Publishing Platforms by Vertical
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