Let's start with a given: Traditional advertising no longer keeps the lights on. The strategic imperative for newsmedia companies is one of revenue diversification. Of course, revenue diversification can – and does – assume many shapes and sizes.
But for the moment at hand, consumer monetization is in the crosshairs of many publishers as the primary source of untapped revenue. Specifically, it is in persuading consumers to pay for digital content that, heretofore, has been available at zero or nominal cost.
Challenging? Of course.
While we might cut our way to short-term viability, Tom Ratkovich of LEAP Media Solutions says we can't cut our way to long-term prosperity. And the sometimes chaotic efforts to rapidly become "digital first" – rather than "customer first" – led to the disastrous customer experiences and privacy concerns that have, in turn, been manifested in ad blockers and, frighteningly, digital revenue declines at some highly visible publishing companies.
At first blush, content monetization seems a reasonable pursuit. Such pursuit has taken many forms, but two of note include (1) the broad domain of "paywalls" or metering of digital content, and (2) aggressive pricing actions for both print and digital content.
Why does Ratkovich say reasonable "at first blush?" Read this article to find out -- and then learn more at the News Industry Summit!MORE
This is the subject of much discussion and debate, but one dimension of strategy that is universal is time. A true strategy cannot achieve ambitious objectives in the short-term. A strategy is essentially a plan to bring about a desired future and, therefore, requires a long-term, sustained focus.
So why do so many audience marketers look at a short-term metric like cost per order (CPO) to determine whether or not their audience strategy is working?MORE
Publishers in search of a new subscriptions platform or video app have new options from The Washington Post.
The Post's Arc Publishing is now offering Arc Subscriptions, a commerce platform that "equips publishers, broadcasters, and brands with real-time capabilities designed to accelerate digital monetization and grow revenue," according to the Post.More
When The New York Times first launched its paywall back in 2011, it offered readers 20 free stories a month. A little over eight years later, that figure seems crazy generous — today you can read just five free Times stories a month before being asked to pay — and where the Times goes, so will other papers go: New research suggests that most newspaper publishers with successful metered pay model strategies do better with higher “stop rates,” not letting a reader sample too much before they’re asked to pay up.
Read more from NiemanLab.More
Folks, it happened: The key to sustainable local news has been discovered. And it involves making money.
Spoiler alert: It's all about making money, and that takes having people whose job descriptions are specifically devoted to that task – along with tying the money-generating to the journalistic mission. And okay, maybe they haven't found the key: "No organization we spoke to claimed to have found the solution to revenue generation, but each had useful lessons for other civic news organizations at different levels of maturity."
Read more from NiemanLab.More