Good morning! Today’s newsletter is brought to you by Esther.
Could we ever…?! ‘Anymore’ aside, Jacob Donnelly succinctly outlines something we’ve brought up many times on the podcast. To properly monetise content, publishers were always focused on getting traffic onto their own sites. But this ran counter to what the social media platforms wanted.
“Traffic from these platforms will never completely stop, but you will never be in control of it, and their dependability will ebb and flow,” Donnelly emphasises. “As much as we may try, we do not control what goes into traffic driving to our sites. Therefore, we should spend less time trying to game these platforms and more time doing whatever we can to convert these users to our owned and operated properties.”
The same principle applies to SEO, and even news aggregators, whose influence is also waning. It’s something worth bearing in mind when exploring new platforms as well. I’m not saying don’t join TikTok/Mastodon/the next big thing, but the focus must be on converting that traffic to an owned audience.
Why aren’t paywalls for local news working in the UK? Press Gazette editor Dominic Ponsford takes a closer look following the success of the Manchester Mill. I’d go as far as to say local publications in the UK have been much slower to innovate compared to many US start-ups which are now beginning to find their feet. But with subscription tools now easily available, I suspect we’ll see more publishers using the Mill’s MVP blueprint.
In a survey conducted by WAN-IFRA earlier this year, 82% of publishers said they planned to launch at least one new newsletter this year. 12% were considering launching more than 10. For me, the most interesting finding here was that almost half of publishers don’t monetise their newsletters. That’s a massive opportunity gap (she says, writing in a largely unmonetised newsletter ?).
If you have anything to do with paywalls or registration walls and aren’t signed up to The Audiencers, do so now as they have a tonne of excellent content. This piece looks at how tracking and optimising both premium content visibility and paywall visibility rate will help move users through the funnel towards subscribing in the future.
This episode we’re joined by Simon Owens to explore how publishers are weathering the ‘crypto winter’ and general disenchantment around emerging technologies. Will early experiments in the metaverse pay off for publishers, and why is AI image generation so exciting? Listen to find out!
Our annual report launches NEXT WEEK on Wednesday November 30th! It’s taking a look at everything that’s occurred in media over 2022 – so it’s a small task, obviously. You can join us and a few very special guests for the launch event. We’d love to see you there!