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Futureproofing local news: Finding resilient business models

In part two, we’ll be exploring the challenges and opportunities that local news organisations are facing with finding sustainable revenue streams.


The second part of our local news deep-dive series is now live. This episode looks at the challenges and opportunities that local news organisations are facing with finding sustainable revenue streams. We also look at some specific case studies of publications across Europe to find out what mix they’re using.

It’s a packed episode, with plenty of interesting points raised for media businesses even if local news isn’t your bag. It’s hard to pick out a highlight, but something Press & Journal editor Craig Walker said has stuck with me this week. DC Thomson launched a paid subscriptions model in 2020 on some of their news titles which within 18 months had passed 25,000 subscribers.

“My entire journalism career, just over 20 years, has been talking about managing decline on print sales,” he said. “But we’ve seen significant growth in digital subscriptions since we launched 2.5 years ago, and it’s continuing to grow.”

The point? It’s never too late to try a new business model, and if executed well, it can really transform the future of the business.


A year of culture wars demonstrates the public’s trust cannot be taken for granted

2023 has seen a number of ongoing trends around the public’s trust in media run their course. Chris Sutcliffe rounds up the last 12 months in trust.

Going into 2024, with elections on the horizon for many countries and growing pressures from AI-generated ‘slop’, trust perhaps isn’t something we’d be thinking about with much optimism. As part of our Media Moments 2023 report, Chris Sutcliffe rounds up the past 12 months in trust, and identifies some opportunities for publishers to grow trust and differentiate themselves.


Axios Media Trends – January 30th 2024

We’re not selling, says G/O Media CEO.

Okay there’s technically 8 (short) stories here but the juxtaposition of them made it worth putting the lot in. On the one hand, G/O Media and the WSJ are shopping brands out and laying off staff. On the other, The Ankler is moving into radio and has given back money it raised (“We didn’t need it,” co-founder Janice Min said), and Minute Media is now valued at over $1 billion after a new round of funding.


Global news industry trends for 2024: Publishers optimistic on new revenue streams

A major global survey of news industry trends has found media executives optimistic about the prospects for revenue growth in 2024.

Some good news to finish. Apparently just over half of news executives are optimistic about their company’s business prospects over the next 12 months, and 58% are optimistic about the next three years. Worth noting though that the survey was carried out halfway through 2023, and it was the latter half of the year which proved particularly difficult for many.

Brian Morrissey has reported that one legacy publisher has seen traffic declines of nearly 80% from peak. But as one of our community members points out from their experience, traffic declines don’t always mean equivalent revenue declines. Is traffic down for you, and where are you looking to build audiences now? Join the discussion.

More from Media Voices


The Publisher Podcast Awards 2024 are now open for entries!

The Publisher Podcast Summit will also be returning preceding the Awards, alongside the first ever Publisher Newsletter Summit.


Reuters Institute’s Dr Amy Ross Arguedas on studying trust

Dr Amy Ross Arguedas tells us about the work of the Trust in News Project, and how to go about measuring trust in the media in a way which is useful.


The local news revival gathers pace, but even the brightest sparks hit bumps

In a growing number of spots, local news isn’t just surviving: it’s thriving. But the picture hasn’t been so pretty for others over the last 12 months.

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