Quantcast
return Home

Selling ads is a short-term strategy. Here’s why subscriptions are the future of journalism

With the rise of adblockers, platform dependency, and Facebook’s and Google’s dominance on the mobile ad market, the need for publishers to invest in the relationship with their readers is more important than ever.

Instead, many a media outlet is opting to sell “branded content”. Also referred to as “native ads”, this form of advertising not only threatens a publication’s editorial independence, it also harms its relationship with readers. And while they’re at it, one journalism site after another is killing the comments section, locking out readers’ voices instead of investing in building a community of contributing readers and journalists. Damaging the ties with your audience is the last thing one should do, yet it seems to be every publisher’s strategy at the moment.

Our times call for a dramatic change in media business models. We should choose to empower journalists and restore the trust of readers by adopting a subscription model.

Why some publishers love ‘the Donald’

In his book Trust me, I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator, marketer Ryan Holiday describes how online journalism is broken. His diagnosis? Most online media outlets make money by selling ads. In general, the more traffic they have, the more ads they sell. But this makes online journalists prisoners of a system that expects them to generate traffic. They are victims of the trade, paid to write articles that create clicks.

Marketers and ‘media manipulators’ like Holiday supply journalists with everything they need to create clickable content, while meanwhile continuing to serve their own marketing agendas. In the book’s opening pages, Holiday shares an example of how he does this:

He designs a controversial billboard for a client and makes sure it gets a good spot in L.A.

  • He buys a spray can and defaces his own billboard.
  • Holiday drives by and snaps a photo of the defaced billboard, which he sends to a blogger, who gladly posts it.
  • Bigger blogs pick up the news. Uproar follows. Box office soars.

The billboard example is quite innocent. But what happens when a news outlet begins to follow presidential candidates just to generate more traffic on their site, to boost sales? The CEO of CBS recently told investors that Donald Trump’s bigotry is “phenomenal” for advertising revenue, and he hopes Trump keeps escalating. “Go Donald”:

Read the full article here

Source: Medium

More like this

Mobile startup offers magazine subscriptions via text message

Magazine circulation growth fuelled by digital subscriptions

Moving your audience beyond subscriptions – advice from Dow Jones

Blendle is proving that unbundling journalism subscriptions can be a win-win

  • What to expect as Hearst Magazines' new Airbnbmag hits the streets Chief content officer Joanna Coles discusses the premiere edition of Airbnbmag, its celebration of global community and the future of travel. 22nd May 2017 MagWorld
  • Eight lessons from Cosmopolitan on publishing to Snapchat Discover One of the lessons for Cosmopolitan following the brand’s wildly successful launch on Snapchat Discover just short of 2.5 years ago was that “you have to dig beyond analytics to find out what [users] are saying about your editions and what they really care about”. 22nd May 2017 MagWorld
  • Inside The Business of Fashion In the space of only a decade, The Business of Fashion has grown from a blog to multi-channel business servicing a global professional community in the millions through a website, newsletters, social media, print magazine and membership programme, with clear, diversified revenue model and each stream contributing meaningfully to the overall top line. 23rd May 2017 MagWorld
  • The Immediate Media Co story: from starting up to being acquired by Burda Earlier this month at the PPA Festival, Barry Mcllheney of the UK Publishers Association sat down with Immediate Media Co’s CEO, Tom Bureau, who talked about the journey from starting Immediate to being acquired by German-based publisher, Hubert Burda.  24th May 2017 MagWorld
  • How a 2015 FIPP Rising Stars award winner continues to make her mark Since 2015 when she was one of FIPP and UPM’s three first ever Rising Stars in Global Media winners, Francesca Wilson’s career has followed a rapid upward trajectory. Here she shares what she’s doing now, advice for others making their mark on media, and why Rising Stars is an opportunity for her peers (and top bosses to recognise the work of valuable employees). 19th May 2017 Rising Stars
Go to Full Site