Conversations, Podcasts

Is advertising more hassle than it’s worth?

Digital advertising has never delivered on its potential for publishers. Crowded ecosystems, a break in the value chain between creator and audience, and the prioritisation of direct reader revenue all demand the question ‘is advertising more hassle than it’s worth?’

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Analysis

Why micropayments aren’t dead…yet

Far from being a failed experiment, Esther Kezia Thorpe argues that we need to think bigger when it comes to micropayments, for What’s New in Publishing.

With the rise of subscriptions and paywalls comes the realisation that there’s a large chunk of a publisher’s audience that they may never be able to effectively monetise. Only an estimated 5% of a publisher’s digital readership will convert to pay for a full subscription, according to Digiday.

But what’s the alternative? Micropayments are one of the alternative revenue streams touted by hopeful tech start-ups and half-heartedly trialled by some organisations. But you’d be hard pushed to think of a publisher in the Western hemisphere who has properly explored micropayments, for better or for worse.

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Analysis

You Can Sell Anything Once, But How Do You Keep Readers Paying for Content?

Peter Houston explores the ‘Four P’s of Retention’ in his latest article for Publishing Executive.

Though the UK’s vote to exit the EU and the election of Donald Trump may have roiled the British and American public, both have been great for subscription sales. Stories of the readership surge caused by the Trump Bump and the Brexit Bounce are legend among audience development professionals.

Everyone knows, except maybe the president, that The New York Times gained more than 250,000 subscribers in the quarter after his election. The UK’s own Times newspaper doubled its subscription sales over the weekend of the EU referendum by opening access to deep-dive Brexit pieces like: Life after Brexit: what happens next.

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Analysis

If Paid Content is the New Hope, How Do We Convert Free Readers to Paying Ones?

Peter Houston looks at what will convert an audience from free to paid in his latest article for Publishing Executive

So we’re agreed? Reader revenue is the way to go. We’re over traffic-at-scale and ad-only funding models. Subscriptions probably won’t pay all your bills, but a healthy mix of subs and ad sales is what we’re all about these days.

OK? Great! Now that we’ve settled the paid content argument, how are we actually going to get people to pay?

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Business models, Editorial content, Podcasts, Publications, Strategy

The Times and Sunday Times’ Alan Hunter on achieving a major digital subscription milestone

This week, Esther talks to the The Times and Sunday Times’ Head of Digital Alan Hunter about how they met their milestone of 500,000 digital subscribers, why their paywall persistence has paid off, and how edition-based publishing is more important to their audience than ever.

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Analysis

Reader revenues? Absolutely, but what will people pay for?

The pivot to paid-content is undoubtedly a positive move for publishers, but what exactly should we be asking our audiences to buy? Peter Houston reports.

If you’re reading InPublishing, it’s probably safe to assume that you care about the future of the publishing industry. And assuming that you care, you probably welcome the signs that the industry has a new revenue stream worth embracing: you’re happy that paid-content is firmly on publishing’s radar.

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Editorial content, Podcasts, Strategy

Corinne Podger on mobile journalism and digital storytelling

This week, Corinne Podger takes us through best practice in mobile journalism and digital storytelling, and how varying mobile consumption habits affect the journalism in different territories.

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Business models, Podcasts, Strategy

Paywall Special

In this bumper episode, the team discusses the rise of the paywall. As everyone from Vanity Fair to the New Statesman have decided to launch paywalls, we try to determine whether there is a recipe for paywall success, taking in everything from the need for brand recognition, the propensity for people to pay, and the likely outcomes of the trend towards reader revenue.

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Podcasts, Social responsibility

PressPad founder Olivia Crellin on the need for diversity in journalism

In this week’s episode of Media Voices, PressPad founder and BBC journalist Olivia Crellin explains how PressPad aims to diversify the media by removing one of the main financial obstacles to those trying to enter the profession.

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Editorial content, Platforms, Podcasts, Publishers, Strategy

Mic’s Cory Haik on millennial loyalty, meaningful storytelling and the importance of deliberate distribution

This week, Mic’s Publisher Cory Haik talks to us about surviving as a video-first publisher in a platform world, how they retain a loyal and engaged millennial audience, and why she’s not giving up on platform publishing as a sustainable option.

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Editorial content, Innovations, Podcasts

The Disconnect’s founders on experimentation and counter-intuitive bets

This week, Peter speaks to The Disconnect’s co-founders Chris Bolin and Clayton d’Arnault about the philosophy and meaning behind a digital magazine that can only be consumed while offline.

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Business models, Editorial content, Podcasts, Publications, Publishers, Strategy

The Scottish Wedding Directory’s Chris Phin on switching niches and ads vs reader revenues

In this week’s episode of Media Voices, Peter talks to Chris Phin, Head of DC Thomson’s Scottish Wedding Directory, about the best ways to monetise a niche vertical and switching from tech journalism to covering the bridal scene.

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Analysis

Key lessons from The Pool on getting to know your audience

On paper, The Pool goes against everything we think should work in a digital publishing site. It publishes just a few pieces of content, and releases them in timed ‘drops’ throughout the day to a schedule, inspired by radio timetables. To top it off, it targets younger women – a market arguably already well-served by more traditional media companies.

But every detail of the way The Pool works has been carefully thought through and meticulously implemented by founders Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne, drawing together years of research into not just what women want, but their daily habits and their relationship with both their mobile phones and the internet.

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Business models, Podcasts, Publishers, Strategy

New Scientist’s head of data science Kimberly Karman on paywalls and GDPR

On this 50th episode of Media Voices, we hear from New Scientist’s head of data science Kimberly Karman about the practical application of data science to a business, how to tackle GDPR and how they continue to evolve their decade-old paywall.

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Editorial content, Podcasts, Social responsibility

European Journalism Centre’s Adam Thomas on sustaining quality journalism

In this week’s episode of Media Voices, Peter speaks to the European Journalism Centre’s Adam Thomas about its mission of enabling and sustaining quality journalism through a program of online resources, seminars, training and grants.

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Business models, Podcasts, Publishers, Social responsibility

President of theguardian.org, Rachel White on funding independent journalism

On this week’s episode of Media Voices, Esther interviews the Guardian’s director of philanthropic & strategic partnerships Rachel White about finding ways of funding independent journalism.

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Editorial content, Podcasts, Publications

Refinery29’s Jacqui Kavanagh on authenticity of experience

In this week’s episode of Media Voices, we speak to Refinery29’s Jacqui Kavanagh about the brand’s success in Europe since it launched in 2015, about what authenticity means to brands and audiences, and why experiential is a growth industry.

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Analysis

Media’s hopes and dreams for 2018

It’s safe to say that 2017 was a bit of a bumpy year for media organisations. From mass job cuts, ill-advised pivots and a growing outcry against the burgeoning duopoly, there’s no sign of the wave of digital disruption easing up on the industry.

In our bumper end-of-year special, we chewed over many of the issues that the past year has thrown up, interspersed with contributions from some of our past guests.

Rather than concoct yet another list of media predictions for 2018, we decided instead to ask some of the experts that have appeared on the podcast what they hope 2018 holds for the industry. All the responses below are included in the episode – give it a listen if you want to hear more about what each guest thought about the year gone by and what their own personal priorities are for 2018.

Kevin Anderson, media analyst Continue reading “Media’s hopes and dreams for 2018”