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

  • How Meredith fuels its revenue growth across channels Meredith, publisher of brands such as Better Homes & Gardens, Eating Well, Parents and Family Circle, achieved an interesting milestone recently. The company reached an inflection point where its digital advertising growth outpaced print advertising declines, according to Jon Werther, president of Meredith’s National Media Group. 13th Feb 2017 MagWorld
  • How Harvard Business Review is embracing the future
    Harvard Business Review’s print magazine recently underwent a redesign… But, as Josh Macht, EVP and group publisher for the Harvard Business Review Group, explains, the design changes are part of a much bigger shift in strategy, which involves a much bigger multi-platform ‘experience’ overall – gearing up HBR not only to take advantages of opportunities today, but also readying it for the opportunities of tomorrow.
    21st Feb 2017 MagWorld
  • Hearst Autos broadens audience, invests in mobile and editorial for 2017
    Hearst is investing resources into its new Autos division and expanding its automotive brands, building off the success of the last several months. This build up involves editorial expansion as well as a functional expansion, according to division president Nick Matarazzo. 
    17th Feb 2017 MagWorld
  • The New York Times News Service: from WWI ‘war wire’ to rich, multi-media content today Started during World War I, The New York Times News Service and Syndicate today offers partners rich multi-media content across a range of verticals and in several languages from not only The New York Times but also other premium content sources such as Harvard Business Review, National Geographic, Slate, The Economist, Meredith and more. 13th Feb 2017 MagWorld
  • [Long read] How prepared are you for another fundamental shift in how your audiences behave?
    Putting more emphasis on consumers’ behavioural shifts and not only thinking of the technological shifts is fundamental for publishers to survive another period of what will be “tumultuous change”. 
    19th Feb 2017 MagWorld
Go to Full Site