Issue #40 — Industry experts weigh in on new business models for journalism

Welcome back to your weekly digest of the latest news in publishing. This week we’re taking a look at how dynamic paywalls have increased subscription conversation rates, how to diversify your business models, new jobs in the media at WSJ and that time BuzzFeed printed a newspaper!

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💯 Top picks

This publisher increased conversion rates up to five times with dynamic ‘paygates’

News:rewired keynote speaker Rouven Leuener shares his experiences in experimenting with flexible paywalls at Swiss news outlet Neue Zürcher Zeitung. They’re using AI to determine how many articles visitors can read for free based on their behaviour, before putting up a paywall prompt at the “right” time to increase conversion rates.

💸 Business models

New business models for journalism

More insights from news:rewired, an event by journalism.co.uk — Adam Tinworth was liveblogging some of the key takeaways about business models from the event. A must read!

The Atlantic delay their metered paywall again!

The Atlantic first announced a shift to subscriptions in 2017, but have recently delayed it further to the second half of 2019.

New York Media's Pam Wasserstein: We have to diversify from an ad-driven model [Podcast]

This episode of the Digiday Podcast features the CEO of New York Media talking about her experience with revenue diversification. She speaks about having a balance between advertising and other streams and building a sustainable business model as a result.

Luminary has $100 million, top talent, and a mission to make you pay for podcasts. Will it work?

Luminary - a new podcast subscription service - has raised $100 million in venture funding, before even getting a single converted user through the door. Now they’ve got to convince people to pay $8/month without any brand recognition. Industry onlookers are rightfully sceptical about whether they’ll pull this off!

✍️ Modern journalism

WSJ to create a new newsroom and lots of new jobs

“The slate of new jobs includes developers, designers, product managers, data specialists, and also, crucially, journalists.”

News organisations, technology companies and citizens must take responsibility for restoring trust

Knight Foundation released a report titled Crisis in Democracy: Renewing Trust in America that puts forward some solutions for the lack of trust in the media. Some of the suggestions include radical transparency amongst journalists and supporting non-profit and local news.

Journalism’s Dunbar number: Audience scales, community does not

“News is not the best business model. It is expensive to gather, risky to publish and it depreciates in value faster than an ice cube on a summer day.” Damon Kiesow writes about success in local news and community requiring an active role in engaging with your readers.

Stories: the format publishers need to take seriously

The growth of the stories format on platforms like Snapchat and Instagram have captured a large, youthful audience. These stories form reader habits which encourage retention. Twipe investigate how publishers can utilise this format, with examples from the NYT, The Guardian and more!

👩‍💻 Technology

Zuckerberg says the future is private messaging, not public posts

Mark Zuckerberg wrote a Facebook notes post about a privacy-focused future for Facebook, where he suggests he wants to align Facebook around private and encrypted messaging, rather than public sharing. Industry experts weigh in on the impact this will have on the future of news, information and misinformation.

Data driven journalism for local newsrooms: it’s possible!

Cheryl Phillips, Professor in Professional Journalism at Stanford University answers questions about the use of data in journalism for newsrooms of all shapes and sizes in this Global Editors Network interview.

🤷 WTF?

BuzzFeed printed a newspaper for one day only

Commuters in New York were able to get their hands on a limited print edition of BuzzFeed, featuring Momo erotic fan art and a GIF in print form!