Issue #29 — Predictions for journalism in 2019

Hey 👋 As we’re winding down for the festive season there’s lots of interesting stories to share from the publishing news including industry predictions for 2019 and how to tap into the expertise of your readers!

FYI we’ll take a break next week and return with a special catch-up issue just before 2019 begins! 🎄

💯 Top picks

Predictions for Journalism in 2019

Wrap your eyes around this collection of insights - Nieman Lab ask the smartest people in digital media and journalism to share their predictions for what will happen in the next 12 months. Here’s a few that we particularly enjoyed from Renée Kaplan, Rick Berke and Patrick Butler.

💸 Business models

What does membership mean for BuzzFeed News — a company that’s already raised $500 million in funding?

Did you know that if you get an annual BuzzFeed News subscription you also get a free tote bag? But does a membership pitch from a private company with a billion-dollar valuation work? This article explores further!

Hitting subscription success lies in nurturing the value of the customer relationship

“The more people read, the more likely they are to become subscribers. The top three behavioural variables for subscribing are:

  • Average active time on a page
  • Number of page views
  • Number of active days”

Read more in this report from INMA’s research that uncovers data-driven ideas for subscriber acquisition and retention.

Thread: There’s a great untapped resource in journalism... your readers!

The founders of The Correspondent love posting interesting Twitter threads just about as much as we love reading them. Ernst Pfauth explores how publishers can crowdsource expert information from their own readers.

Access a free database that lists all media companies running a membership business

We just spotted that The Membership Puzzle Project have put together this neat Airtable database containing information about all publishers that are running membership and/or subscription programmes. It’s a great way to see the collective landscape of this growing business model summarised into a single sheet.

✍️ Modern journalism

The future of news for the younger generation

Journalist Zoe Murphy spent 12 months interviewing and carrying out user testing to find out how to write better news stories for young people. Here’s her top 9 findings, which includes anticipating questions, reducing the need to Google and offering a range of perspectives.

Is your news sitting unread in your inbox? Have we reached peak newsletter?

Or do email newsletters create a more personal tone and a better way of delivering information? With many news and media organisations sending daily or weekly email newsletters, this article explores whether they end up becoming too noisy and failing to solve the problem they are actually trying to fix: making your life easier and saving time.

Why product management is a new pivotal role for modern publishers

Publishers and media groups like Vox and Bloomberg are busy hiring new product managers to stay ahead in a landscape where digital media is growing fast and complex, with new and unfamiliar revenue streams to contend with – but it hasn’t been without some growing pains!

👩‍💻 Technology

The new way to advertise products: Writing about them on recommendation sites

The product review space is becoming an important channel for promoting cool stuff. Publications like Wirecutter, Best Products, New York magazine’s The Strategist and BuzzFeed Reviews are growing rapidly – this article digs into how recommendation sites are filling the gap when it comes to trustworthy product promotion.

🤷 WTF?

YouTube users may see a noticeable decrease in subscribers as the platform tackles spam

YouTube’s product team is cleaning up spam accounts used to artificially inflate subscriber counts, so YouTube users could see large drops in subscribers.

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