ONA18 Recap: Reader Engagement goes Mobile

The Chartbeat team was delighted to spend time with our industry friends and partners recently at ONA18, held in Austin, Texas. The conference yielded lively conversations, both off- and onstage. On the main stage, we shared our global state of engagement trends, which this year looked at the unprecedented shifts in mobile. The presentation found an enthusiastic audience:



We also debuted new innovations, including our upcoming push alerts dashboard, and convened a great panel with customers to discuss the changing face of loyalty in a world where readership has tilted to mobile. If you weren’t able to join us at ONA this year but want to stay current on the most important trends in audience engagement, watch our sessions and learn more below.


The Panel: Alerts, Apps, and Algorithms: Loyalty in a Mobile-First World

Moderated by Emily Bell of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism, this panel brought together product and editorial leaders from The Washington Post, BBC, Sky News, and Chartbeat to discuss the question: How are news organizations leveraging news aggregators, push alerts and apps to build a loyal readership? The participants — Coleen O’Lear from the Post, Nathalie Malinarich from BBC News, Mark Alford from Sky News, and Chartbeat’s own Director of Product, Emily Ingram — debated what’s working and what’s changing in this sphere, from audience behavior to push-alert strategy. The captivating and down-to-earth discussion was one not to miss. 



The Talk: The Global State of Reader Engagement

Another highlight was a mainstage presentation given by Josh Schwartz, Chartbeat’s Chief of Product, Engineering, and Data Science, on the state of reader engagement. This talk drew on the richness of global, aggregate audience and traffic patterns to identify new year-on-year trends. With dramatic changes in mobile traffic, this year’s analysis looked closely at engagement and loyalty differences by device and referrer, and showed why, despite algorithm shifts, publishers may be in a stronger position than we realized.   

Josh Schwartz, Chartbeat’s Chief of Product, Engineering, and Data Science
Josh Schwartz, Chartbeat’s Chief of Product, Engineering, and Data Science, delivers a talk on the mainstage at ONA18 in Austin, Texas.

To see Josh’s entire talk, watch the ONA video here.

Additionally, due to overwhelming interest, Josh will be presenting again to customers and friends of Chartbeat on October 2 via webinar.  Sign up here.


The Inside Baseball: A Fireside Chat with The Atlantic

One of the final highlights of our ONA presence took the form of an intimate conversation between Matt Thompson, executive editor of The Atlantic, and John Saroff, Chartbeat’s CEO. With strong subscriber growth and editorial vision, The Atlantic has been undergoing a transformation — and succeeding. In a lively chat that included a rousing rendition of “Happy Birthday” sung to the audience, Matt spoke with John about the importance of The Atlantic mission and some of their most innovative initiatives to date. [Audio here.]



All in all, it was another thrilling year at one of our favorite conferences. We’re glad to have seen all of our industry friends and partners, and to have forged new connections with potential partners, customers, and friends. We’re already looking forward to 2019! Here’s to another great ONA experience.

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