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Shaping the Future of the Newspaper

Date

Fri - 24.10.2014


revenue streams

A growing number of newspapers seem to be reaching for the pill labelled "paywall," in the hope that charging readers for news can help solve their revenue headaches: the Minneapolis Star-Tribune has just launched one, as has the Boston Globe, and the PostMedia network in Canada says it is going to roll them out across all of the newspapers in its national chain. Whether newspapers are doing this because the New York Times' paywall makes it look like an attractive idea or because they are growing increasingly desperate isn't clear, but even the NYT's experience shows that a paywall is still a sandbag strategy rather than a growth strategy.

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Author

Anton Jolkovski's picture

Anton Jolkovski

Date

2011-11-02 10:27

The Washington Independent announced today that it will be closing down by December 1 due to a lack of funding, the Columbia Journalism Review revealed.

In a post published on its website, Washington Independent editor Aaron Wiener wrote that the website "was not just a journalistic experiment; it was also a financial one, and ultimately, the successes of the former couldn't sustain the strains of the latter."

The news site launched in January of 2008 as a part of the American Independent News Network and it relied on donations and grants, primarily from foundations seeking to promote journalism in the public interest," Wiener explained. "Those donations began drying up long ago."

According to media reports, The New Mexico Independent was also shut down today. "The New Mexico Independent as you know it is now closed. The site will remain live, possibly with a half-time blogger. Deepest apologies," Editor Gwyneth Doland wrote on Twitter, Alibi.com revealed.

David Bennahum, the president and CEO of The American Independent News Network, said donations for New Mexico news site decreased from US$187,000 in 2008 to $32,500 in 2010, nmpolitics.net quoted.

Author

Clara Mart

Date

2010-11-17 23:25

As publishers continue to look for new revenue streams, 27 percent of American and Canadian publishers "expect mobile to significantly impact their revenue in just two years," according to an online survey conducted by the Audit Bureau of Circulations, Poynter.org reported today.

Twenty-eight percent said they believe sponsorships will bring advertising revenue, followed by search (22 percent), video (21 percent), banner ads (19 percent) and pop-ups (19 percent), paidContent.org revealed. But publishers said they would not rely only on advertisements and plan to charge subscription fees to the applications.

"Many magazines and newspapers are already implementing their plans and tweaking their offerings while others are following close behind," ABC president and managing director Michael Lavery stated in a press release.

Although 78 percent of those surveyed disagree with the idea that print publications will eliminate their print issues, 63 percent said e-readers "would become vital distribution channels for their publication." For instance, 60 percent of newspapers publishers plan to develop an iPad application in the next six to twelve months.

Author

Clara Mart

Date

2010-11-04 21:45

Thomson Reuters Corp. has reported a 66 percent increase in its third quarter profit, the Wall Street Journal reported today. Profits rose to US$227 million, or 32 cents a share, from $167 million (19 cents per share) last year.

Adjusted third quarter earnings rose from 43 cents last year, to 49 cents this year, according to results posted by the news and data provider.

Tom Glocer, CEO of Thomson Reuters, said he was especially pleased with the launch and adoption rate of the company's Eikon, a desktop platform for financial professionals, launched in September. New platforms, also including Thomson Reuters Elektron and WestlawNext, as well as upcoming platforms to serve the Tax & Accounting and Healthcare & Science units, "will arm our sales force with the tools needed to drive revenue and profit growth in 2011 and beyond."

Glocer told the Financial Times of the group's finances: "It has been a story of the substitution of technology instead of headcount growth."

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2010-10-28 23:06

Aiming to create another digital revenue stream, U.S. publisher and broadcaster Cox Media is buying discount site DealSwarm, which will be open in the next few weeks, paidContent reported yesterday.

The site will offer customers deals of 50 percent or more off services from local businesses, such as restaurants and entertainment venues. Cox, which is based in Atlanta, will make DealSwarm available to people in cities in which it currently has outlets: Atlanta, Austin, Dayton and Seattle. The site will be rolled out in other markets in 2011.

DealSwarm will likely be a major competitor for Groupon, the Atlanta Business Chronicle noted.

"Different from others in the group buying space, our local media properties in each DealSwarm market bring unprecedented marketing power with established readers, viewers and listeners," said David Shipps, DealSwarm's vice president, according to a press release. "For our business partners, there are no upfront costs. They simply benefit from new customers and a fantastic promotional opportunity for their business."

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2010-10-13 17:36

Groupon launched just under two years ago, and now publishers are trying out the same concept on their digital properties in order to forge new digital revenue streams. The Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune last week released its first STeal, under which it offers an exclusive deal from a local business each day, MinnPost.com reported yesterday.

"If enough people buy, everyone gets the deal. Then you can print, redeem, repeat," the STeals page explains. The Star Tribune is just the latest to experiment with daily deals - so far the Washington Post, Zagat, Open Table, the SF Gate, Yelp, Gilt Group, and more have also done so, YipIt Blog reported. And, although STeals will be a small part of the Star Tribune's digital revenues, it is a promising new revenue stream that has long-term potential.

Groupon's revenue is expected to reach between US$300 million and $500 million this year, all because "they simply went out and created a distribution list of over nine million subscribers in local areas and negotiated deals on their behalf," YipIt noted.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2010-08-27 00:12

In a publication made available online yesterday, the Knight Foundation has detailed possible non-profit local and regional news ventures.

Saving traditional news organisations cannot be helped by the non-profit model; instead, creating and strengthening "informed communities and local information ecosystems, of which journalism is a necessary component" is the type of venture that non-profits can possibly be of help with, the U.S.-based organisation states, the foundation notes. The publication is based on an April 26 meeting sponsored by the Knight Foundation and co-hosted by the Texas Tribune, Voice of San Diego and Knight Chair in Journalism at The University of Texas at Austin.

The non-profit model, if done correctly, helps organisations "to pursue a journalistic mission without the competing demands of operating a for-profit business." The publication points out that the foundation has funded more than 200 experiments using a so-called "built to learn" approach.

Panelist Alberto Ibargüen, president and CEO of the John S. & James L. Knight Foundation, pointed out to the non-profit model being discussed is not a solution meant to fix the news industry's financial woes.

"It isn't for us a question of finding the model, but of experimenting with a lot of different models," he said.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2010-08-12 19:13

The Times Online and Sunday Times last week began charging for online content, and publishers around the world are eager to see if the UK newspapers' efforts are successful.

However, according to a new Forrester study, instead of asking how much they can make from the content, companies, should be focusing on "how that content can help create new revenue streams," analyst Nick Thomas wrote in his Forrester blog.

Image: Francesco Rachello

"The value in a media business lies in its dialogue with consumerism," Thomas wrote. "If a paywall removes 90% of your audience (as Sunday Times editor John Witherow has suggested -- and even that may be an underestimate), the challenge becomes even harder. Focusing on the sale of content is missing a trick: Media companies are not actually in the content business; they are in the audience business," he added.

The percentage of readers who will switch to the paywall model is not yet clear, but plenty of evidence shows that consumers spend money online on products and services. For example, online news fans tend to buy books, tickets, travel, or clothing online more than average online users.

Author

Erina Lin

Date

2010-07-09 00:44

Seeing a growing need for help in navigating social media and online advertising by small and mid-sized businesses, the Tribune Co. has created a consulting business that will also hopefully help the U.S. news publisher tap into another revenue stream, Crain's Chicago Business reported today.

435 Digital Services (named after the company's headquarters at 435 N. Michigan Ave. in Chicago) is beginning with 10 staffers, with plans to grow. Bill Adee, vice president of digital for the Chicago Tribune, has been put in charge, according to Editor & Publisher.

The consultancy will shift staffers from current ad sales into the new unit.

As companies search for more revenue streams, "it's worth wondering what the impact of shifting digital resources outside of supporting their companies' print and digital content will ultimately have," paidContent's David Kaplan wrote yesterday.

Gannett launched its own consultancy, GannettLocal, in Phoenix this spring. Its website promises customers it will:

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2010-07-08 00:44

The "will it or won't it" debate surrounding whether the iPad will "save" the newspaper industry has been going on since news of its possible existence in Apple's labs surfaced last year. It is still being discussed today, as the iPad is launched in some European countries, Japan, Canada and Australia.

Although other tablet computers, such as Amazon's Kindle, have been on the market for years, they have been mostly focused on reading books in black and white, with few other features or capabilities. The iPad is unique because it creates a new market segment in the gap between laptops and mobiles, CNN blogs noted today.

The new segment created by the iPad gives newspapers a chance to start fresh with readers, many believe, enabling them to charge for their content, a move many wish they would have had the foresight to do in the early days of the Internet. It also creates a new level of interactivity for both content and advertisements, allowing news publishers to give users a more enriched experience in exchange.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2010-05-28 19:17

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