Skip to: Navigation | Content | Footer

COMMENT

The reader must pay!

James Evelegh's editorial from today's edition of InPubWeekly.

James Evelegh

Posted on: 09 November 2017


Nic Newman (on the left) and Juan Señor at the AOP Convention.

 

At last week’s AOP Convention, Juan Señor and Nic Newman presented a compelling case for news providers switching from an ad-funded model to a reader-funded one. I paraphrase: For too long, news providers have laboured under the illusion that advertising would pay the bills in the digital era. It won’t. Yes, digital advertising has grown massively but Facebook and Google are taking it all. They are basically eating our lunch, and by providing them with our great content, we’re giving it to them on a plate. We’ve been suckered into becoming little more than white label content providers.

There is an essential truth which news publishers have lost sight of: money is made where the article is viewed. We need to turn the tables, so that our content is viewed on our sites with proper payment being made – that needn’t necessarily be monetary, it could be in the form of registration data.

The migration to reader-funded models is a journey. It needn’t involve binary choices. 3% of your unique visitors will auto-convert and you need to devise a strategy for the rest, which will inevitably involve a wall! The strategy might include: an allocation of free articles, a datawall to capture registration data and a paywall; the publisher’s task is to move people through the sales funnel. All classic marketing stuff. This route still allows for considerable opportunities to sell advertising, and by moving to verifiable eyeballs, as opposed to anonymous ones, those opportunities might be even be enhanced. The process of feeding the tunnel never ends, a bit like painting the Forth Bridge, but a likely equilibrium point is where 40% of news publisher revenues come from readers.

Publishers are losing money and losing trust. They need to start the journey to a reader-revenue future. Today’s a good time to start.

About James Evelegh
(Details last updated: 21 March 2018)

James Evelegh is the editor of InPublishing. Previous roles have included circulation consultant, group circulation manager at Centaur Media and circulation manager at DMG Trinity.

Tel: 01322 865 984

Email: Send a message to this author

Website: www.inpublishing.co.uk

Twitter: @InPublishing

comments powered by Disqus

Most read on InPublishing

These are the most read stories on the InPublishing website over the last 14 days, in order from the top.

Articles

The reader-revenue revolution is a reality

Peter Houston
Posted on: 22 May 2018

Magazine design: 5 minutes with… Ian Blaza

Ian Blaza
Posted on: 30 May 2018

Data-led journalism

Nick Turner
Posted on: 22 May 2018

Craft magazines

Alan Geere
Posted on: 22 May 2018

Count the clicks

James Evelegh
Posted on: 22 May 2018

Family values

Meg Carter
Posted on: 22 May 2018

Off The Page

David Hepworth
Posted on: 22 May 2018

Platforms and Publishers

Charlie Beckett
Posted on: 22 May 2018

Time for Plan B?

James Evelegh
Posted on: 7 June 2018

This list is based on data from Google Analytics, and is refreshed every 24 hours. (Last updated: 22/06/2018 05:55)

Find out more about

Featured job

Advertising & Commercial Lead
Salary: Competitive
Iceberg Press
Croydon

Featured in InPublishing Jobs

InPub Weekly: Sign-up

Click here to sign up for our free weekly email newsletter:

Sign up now!

Magazine registration

Publishing Partners Guide