Smaller publishers risk missing out on the benefits of AI

benefits of AI
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Faced with the day-to-day challenges of revenue generation and content creation, it is understandable that smaller publishers see emerging innovations in artificial intelligence (AI) as being low on their priority list. But in avoiding new technologies, they risk missing out to competitors who are working to understand the benefits of AI.

  • Private companies doubled their investment in AI in 2021, according to the 2022 AI Index Report of the Stanford Institute for Human-Centred Artificial Intelligence. The institute, measuring global trends across sectors such as retail, health and security, says AI has passed the novelty stage and is now integral for how businesses are planning for growth and development.
  • Jack Clark of the AI Index said AI has become something that now has a ‘real-world impact’. He explains:

2021 was the year that AI went from an emerging technology to a mature technology – we’re no longer dealing with a speculative part of scientific research…

  • A survey conducted by the Reuters Journalism Institute says AI is now seen as vital to media production. Of the companies surveyed, 85% said AI will be important for content recommendation; 81% said it would drive newsroom automation; and 69% said AI was critical to help attract and retain customers.
The AI challenge

A recent article from the London School of Economics’ Journalism AI initiative says small publishers, short on time, money and expertise, are struggling to explore, let alone implement AI tools and systems. But author Charlie Becket believes that local, specialist or ‘small’ media organisations can avoid missing out on the potential benefits of automation, machine learning and other ‘AI’ technologies.

JournalismAI has put together an AI Journalism Starter Pack designed to help any size of publisher take the first steps in planning an AI strategy. And building on learnings from a 2021 pilot project that brought 20 newsrooms together for an online training course, Beckett suggests key steps that smaller publishers should take when they consider using AI:

  • Make one person responsible; make sure they have everyone’s attention
  • Find out about the basic AI terms so you can avoid the BS and the hype
  • Think about the problems you would like to solve
  • Start small and be prepared to work differently
  • Don’t expect easy wins or immediate big benefits
  • Research the tools and systems that are already out there
Actionable insights

Spiny Trends sponsor offers a whole suite of tools to automate data reporting, give publishing teams the right information at the right time, delivering insights that publishers can act on.

Highlighting revenue anomalies – This function alerts your ad-operations team to any fluctuations in revenue generation. The system will highlight any drop in impressions eCPM, ad fill rates and ad visibility rates.

Revenue anomolies


Content recommendations – The system analyses the performance of  articles and assesses the ROI of each one, factoring in content creation costs and overheads. It suggests content production targets by day of the week.

Content recommendations


Real-time dashboard – This dashboard updates throughout the day to offer insights on the performance of user sessions and how each traffic source is monetising. Using these insights, editorial strategy can be adjusted to prioritise content performing well on specific platforms.

Real-time dashboard

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