Industry Insight: Research tells us more about getting people to pay for online news 6/18/19

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.

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For many rural residents in U.S., local news media mostly don't cover the area where they live 4/23/19

Americans in urban communities are more likely to say local news media mostly cover the area where they live, while rural residents say that their local news media mostly cover another area, such as a nearby city, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.

Roughly six-in-ten self-described urban residents (62 percent) say their local news media mainly cover the area they live in, while a majority of those who describe themselves as rural residents (57 percent) say the opposite is true – their local news media mostly cover some other area, a concern raised by many journalism watchers following newsroom cutbacks and media consolidation. Self-described suburbanites are more evenly split, according to the survey conducted Oct. 15-Nov. 8, 2018, among nearly 35,000 U.S. adults.

Read more from the Pew Research Center

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Tips for today's media research landscape 4/9/19

By Ted Stasney and Robin DiSalvo - Research Director On Demand

A major challenge in today's media world is holding on to your staff, specifically experienced personnel. This is especially true in the media industry, which includes print, radio and broadcast with marketing and research staff.

Today's media sales teams are taking more responsibility for revenue by delivering more strategic recommendations and striving to close more business quickly. Having marketing research resources achieves this efficiently by embracing the shift from market research as an expense or a cost center to a revenue generator.

Since so many in the media industry are asking their staff to do more multi-tasking, Research Director On Demand suggests the following tips to help you with your marketing and advertising sales research.

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Measure of your local economy: A key sales indicator 3/11/19

By Ted Stasney and Robin DiSalvo - Research Director On Demand

Surveys that measure consumers' confidence in the economy are a vital benchmark of economic development.

By asking a few key questions in a survey about your local economy and consumers' future spending, your survey can be an important resource for your branding and marketing initiatives.

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Audience Research: An investment to grow your revenue 2/19/19


By Ted Stasney and Robin DiSalvo, Research Director On Demand

We often hear that media companies, especially print, are not doing much research, including audience and readership surveys. This includes important research on who reads and uses their print and digital products.

Some common reasons we hear why media companies do not use research include:
  • Lack of budget.
  • No research or marketing department support.
  • No staff to analyze data and interpret research findings.
  • Low priority compared to other items.
  • Newspaper/media company too small to do research.
  • No need to, it's an expense.
Newspapers without research departments or resources can still have audience and readership surveys that provide valuable information for both the news and advertising departments. It does not need a large budget. The results can enhance credibility and generate revenue.
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Knowing your customers -- a 2019 priority 1/22/19

By Ted Stasney, Research Director On Demand
Knowing who your customers are has many lasting benefits. For example, knowing your customers will:

  • Build better customer relations
  • Provide better understanding of their needs
  • Retain customers
  • Enhance your CRM – Customer Relationship Management
  • Optimize your revenue and profits
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Newsroom employment dropped nearly a quarter in less than 10 years, with greatest decline at newspapers 8/6/18

Newsroom employment across the United States continues to decline, driven primarily by job losses at newspapers. And even though digital-native news outlets have experienced some recent growth in employment, too few newsroom positions were added to make up for recent losses in the broader industry, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics survey data.

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Distinguishing between factual and opinion statements in the news 6/18/18

In today's fast-paced and complex information environment, news consumers must make rapid-fire judgments about how to internalize news-related statements – statements that often come in snippets and through pathways that provide little context. A new Pew Research Center survey of 5,035 U.S. adults examines a basic step in that process: whether members of the public can recognize news as factual – something that's capable of being proved or disproved by objective evidence – or as an opinion that reflects the beliefs and values of whoever expressed it.

The findings from the survey, conducted between Feb. 22 and March 8, reveal that even this basic task presents a challenge. The main portion of the study, which measured the public's ability to distinguish between five factual statements and five opinion statements, found that a majority of Americans correctly identified at least three of the five statements in each set. But this result is only a little better than random guesses. Far fewer Americans got all five correct, and roughly a quarter got most or all wrong. Even more revealing is that certain Americans do far better at parsing through this content than others. Those with high political awareness, those who are very digitally savvy and those who place high levels of trust in the news media are better able than others to accurately identify news-related statements as factual or opinion.

Read more from the Pew Research Center.

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Almost seven-in-ten Americans have news fatigue, more among Republicans 6/5/18

If you feel like there is too much news and you can't keep up, you are not alone. A sizable portion of Americans are feeling overwhelmed by the amount of news there is, though the sentiment is more common on the right side of the political spectrum, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted from Feb. 22 to March 4, 2018.

Read more from the Pew Research Center

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When Digital Disruption Comes to Town: How Small-Market Newspapers are Thriving 8/22/17

Featured session: Monday, Sept. 11 SNPA - Inland Annual Meeting, Colorado Springs, Colo.
With Damian Radcliffe, Chambers Chair in Journalism, University of Oregon
How are small market newspapers responding to the challenges of digital disruption? Showcasing success stories - and drawing on the challenges, opportunities - for local newspapers in the digital age, this session will highlight findings from new and unpublished research, produced for the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University and the Agora Journalism Center in Portland. MORE