What to Expect from the Publishing Industry in 2020

January 23, 2020
white numbers 2020 with sparklers in background

Identifying Change in Publishing

Though only two decades into the newest millennium, the world has already seen a lot of change. New technologies, ideas, and consumer preferences have helped transform the ways we live and work. In nearly every industry, including the worldwide publishing industry, change has not been difficult to identify.

What to Expect

We have already seen a lot of change within the publishing industry, but that doesn’t mean the industry itself is done evolving. Here are five contemporary publishing trends that we can expect to continue over the course of the next year:

1. Continued Digitization

With each passing year, the portion (and number) of publications taking place online continues to increase. In the United States, approximately 93 percent of adults get at least some of their news online. Many major publications, such as ESPN the Magazine, have decided to abandon their printing efforts altogether. Because digital publishing is cheaper, more accessible, and better for the environment, we can expect this already universal trend to continue.

2. Increased Emphasis on Mobile Optimization

In a recent study conducted by Pew Research Center, about 57 percent of news and information is accessed via mobile devices (desktops account for about 30 percent) (Walker, 2019). With mobile users outnumbering desktop users nearly two to one, the need for mobile optimization is widespread. Content that has been shrunk, adapted, or reformatted for phones will tend to rank better on Google and also maintain readership.

3. Specialization

Now that the digital space has become so accessible, seemingly every business or industry insider can publish specialized information. The digital era has helped remove nearly all barriers to publishing. Building a website—along with a corresponding newsletter, circulated publication, or other regularly issued content—can help relevant businesses extend their reach and attract new clients.

4. Multiplatform Integration

The past decade has seen unprecedented growth in social media usage, which has fundamentally transformed the way businesses and other parties present themselves to the public. Once organic content has been published, platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter can help promote that content even further. By the end of 2019, roughly 3.5 billion people used social media around the world—this figure represents a 9 percent increase when compared to the year before.

5. Global Reach

Lastly, the modern era has seen the publishing industry place an increased level of emphasis on global expansion. The internet, which can be accessed across the globe, has helped consumers gain access to information being published in nearly every country. Any company hoping to establish themselves on a global level will need to begin with a strong publishing campaign.


While the future remains largely unknown, there is certainly a lot for those in the publishing industry to be excited about. The industry is rapidly moving in a digital, mobile, and global direction.

Walker, M. (2019, November 19). Americans favor mobile devices over desktops and laptops for getting news. Retrieved January 22, 2020, from