The rookie campaigns of many newspapers' digital sports subscriptions are over. Now comes the work of developing the standalone subscription products into long-lasting sources of revenue.
After the success of The Athletic proved that sports coverage is a passion area that can drive people to take out their wallets, newspapers carved out their sports coverage as discrete subscription products. The bet is these products, while priced lower than a full digital subscription, will draw in sports fans who primarily rely on the publication for sports coverage versus, say, city hall reporting. Newspaper publishers ranging from Hearst to McClatchy to The Dallas Morning News all piled into the space, and upstart news publications such as the Daily Memphian, which launched in the fall of 2018, did too.
For example, McClatchy, which has put a sports content product called SportsPass out in 10 of its 30 markets since launching its first in August 2018, is figuring out how to expand SportsPass past its core offering of unlimited access to that market's sports content for $30 per year. It is kicking around ideas ranging from conference calls with reporters to exclusive livestreams on Facebook, Miami Herald managing editor Rick Hirsch said.
Read more from Digiday.MORE
An unprecedented amount of formal research on digital subscription models, and a few frantic years of legacy media organizations and startups alike experimenting with them, are beginning to provide a blueprint for getting readers to pay for online news.
It starts with the basic understanding that convincing someone to purchase a digital subscription is different than print. So much news has been free online and for so long. And a digital subscription is not a tangible, manufactured product that people automatically associate a dollar value with.
In most cases, you are also competing with the fact that someone could search for comparable content and get at least 60 to 70 percent of what they were looking for, for free, instantaneously. Is that extra 30 percent of value worth paying for, or is what's available for free elsewhere good enough?
That's why even news organizations that are pursuing a traditional "paywall" subscription model should be paying attention to the research and experiments with membership programs.
Read more from Editor& Publisher.MORE
Alert! Alert! The information demands on the modern digital journalist are overwhelming and leading to burnout
Journalists are overwhelmed by the information they process in their working day and want to explore solutions with third-party providers and management to make it more manageable. That’s the finding of a nine-month project involving discussions across the industry and a revealing in-depth survey.MORE
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.
GateHouse Media LLC has announced a partnership with Triton Digital, the global technology and services leader to the digital audio industry. Through this partnership, GateHouse Media will utilize Triton Digital's programmatic audio advertising marketplace, a2x, as well as its market-leading SSP, Yield-Op, to monetize curated collections of audio clips and podcasts across online properties. The partnership will provide advertisers through Triton's a2x marketplace with access to GateHouse Media's 43 million unique online visitors per month.MORE
By Jennifer Nelson, Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute
A California newspaper is learning as it experiments with podcasting using its existing staff. The Q&A dives into questions like: “What goes into creating a podcast episode?” “What’s the most effective way to promote the podcast?” “What has been the biggest challenge when it came to launching the podcast or continuing to produce the segments?”MORE
Digital agency services have become an important and growing revenue stream for many media companies, but is there one right way to run this complex business?
During a Tuesday afternoon breakout session at the Mega-Conference, Feb. 26-28 in San Diego, hear from three media companies, all with different business models, who have successful, thriving agencies.MORE
Gamut, a solutions-based digital advertising organization from Cox Media Group, has announced the introduction of Real Delivery, a pledge that brands and agencies will not be charged for invalid display impressions, as determined by long-time digital measurement provider, Moat.MORE
Digital Genie and ITI Digital are the newest members of SNPA.MORE
The deal isn't yet finished. But Ken Doctor says he has been told by multiple sources that there are no major stumbling blocks left to negotiate in a megamerger between the United States' two largest daily newspaper chains – Gannett and GateHouse. It's increasingly likely to happen, with an announcement by summer's end. That's despite absolute public silence from the companies involved.
Read more from his article in NiemanLab.More
Here's a taste of what you'll hear in Chicago, Oct. 6-8:
- Walter Hussman reports on the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's bold move to convert all its subscribers to digital subscribers.
- Recruitment guru Laurie Kahn on what newspapers need to do to assemble a team of sales superstars.
- The Post and Courier reveals results from the Google News Initiative – literally days after its conclusion.
- News from Washington on the newspaper industry's fight to get a fair share of revenue from Facebook and Google.Springs.