Digitalmagazin Unified © Unified

Publishers getting more competition from WhatsApp & co

Homeless Media phenomenon is main theme of "Unified" digital magazine

Social networks are providing more and more videos and texts such as Facebook’s Instant Articles which the Hamburg-based Spiegel Online uses. Snapchat’s Discover is also another way of integrating content linked to an external website straight onto an app.

Francesco Marconi, Strategy Manager at Associated Press new agency, has dubbed this phenomenon, Homeless Media. That basically implies that articles or videos no longer need a fixed place like a homepage and can be found wherever users are – namely in social networks. Firms in Hamburg’s media and digital economy are taking a keen interest in this phenomenon. Demands are high and companies have to find new ways of targeting these groups and more effort goes into these contents which must be worthwhile. The individual target groups and presentation forms differ from platform to platform. Identifying and using these patterns is key to reaching target groups. Plenty of expertise and time goes into this effort and the content has to be revised and updated regularly.

Demands on media

To approach the homeless media principle, nextMedia.Hamburg, the city’s initiative for the media and digital industry, has put together a digital magazine called Unified in which experts on diverse content have their say. These experts include Rike Woelk, Deputy Editorial Chief at and ARD-aktuell in Hamburg, and Oke Göttlich, Club President of FC St. Pauli and Managing Director of finetunes, a Hamburg-based digital distributor of music, videos and film. They describe how digitalisation and the social network revolution are changing the task and demands in the media sector.

News content in social networks

Francesco Marconi also gives his opinion in Unified: “The traditional homepage concept has been developed further and the behaviour of readers has changed; they seldom head straight for the start page, but find their way to online media via direct links instead.” These links can be found on social networks like Facebook where media also share their content.

Young users surf these networks and find news there, according to a survey by Statista for nextMedia.Hamburg: 48 per cent of 18-29 year-olds find news in social networks compared to 18 per cent of 50-60 year-olds.

Push news come top

Media companies’ social media offers account for 28 per cent of news among those surveyed in the overall population. A Google search (60 per cent) came first followed by media companies’ homepages (48 per cent). An average 27 per cent of those surveyed would like media companies to expand their contact via social media and to improve the supply of news for users in future. Newsletters per email (26 per cent) were just as popular and messenger services such as WhatsApp (21 per cent). However, push news or urgent news were top and 32 per cent or one-third would like more such news. For media and companies in the digital sector that means that there are multiple ways of contacting users with content.

Sources and further information:
Current issue of Unified digital magazine:

About nextMedia.Hamburg

nextMedia.Hamburg is the city’s initiative for the media and digital industry. It’s digital magazine, Unified, has special issues on current trends in media and the digital sector such as Virtual Reality, or Homeless Media. Mostly experts in Hamburg comment on these topics. More information can be found on

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