Thinking Device First: Time for Adaptive Journalism

Kevin Gentzel is the chief revenue officer of the Washington Post. 

The next major media consumption shift is happening faster than ever. This shift is happening so fast it will actually lap past platform adoption rates and could give longer life to the newspaper over the desktop. This is the speed-of-light transition we are in. It is a device-first world.

As such, reader experiences must be designed not from a mobile-first perspective but from a device-first sensibility. The newspaper continues to be relevant because it has been a perfect “bundle” of daily journalism rolled up on your doorway. The paper brings you news, security, comfort, advertiser-led marketplaces and a family breakfast-table conversation starter — all in one. It easily travels with you, no matter where you go.

In a device-first world, the newsroom that delivers across the platform spectrum will define relevance and shape the future of media. The combination of platform intelligence and excellent journalism is the key to putting the reader first and continuing to deliver on our tradition of the daily journalism bundle. In the future, the perfect bundle of content will be personalized and will come to you in different forms across many devices.

What will that bundle look like?

One of the experiments I am very excited about is what industry leaders are calling Adaptive Storytelling. It starts with fantastic journalism and builds on that foundation by taking into account a combination of factors which can include: the platform someone is using, the device, the user’s environment and even the time of day.

If newsrooms emphasize the reader experience with journalism, a user’s journey across devices will help define tomorrow’s media consumption habits. If we get that right, innovative, integrated advertiser opportunities will inevitably follow.