Issue #84 — How to approach free content in the subscription era

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This week's roundup of the biggest stories in publishing includes finding out how Business Insider approaches free content, what the biggest SEO mistakes others have made are and how to connect with your audience better. Enjoy!

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💯 Top picks

Business Insider’s fascinating approach to paywalls and free content

Simon Owens dives into the rise of the paywall, moving away from metered paywalls to subscriptions and how Business Insider are balancing free vs paid content using one surprisingly simple strategy.

💸 Business models

Spending money to make money, Part II: Case studies of newsrooms using paid acquisition

Paid advertising and marketing funnels! Lenfest Institute share the second part in a case study on how publishers can use tactics from the marketing world to grow customer acquisition.

How Schibsted's Aftenposten drives digital subscriptions in Norway

“Our primary acquisition driver today is our content,” says Aftenposten’s Sidney Glastad. “Our paywall is where we get about 70 percent of our web sales, and that makes it really important for us to understand what kind of content converts and how long people stay on different types of content. The way we work has evolved around that content.”

✍️ Modern journalism

How entrepreneurial thinking can help publishers connect with new audiences: A conversation

Almar Latour, publisher for Barron’s Group and EVP at Dow Jones speaks to WNIP about creating a startup feel, membership schemes and more.

Michael Barbaro and the raging success of The Daily

Michael Barbaro made the New York Times podcast The Daily a raging success. Or is it the other way around?

Journalism first: doing advocacy with data on…

“To promote accountability, Eva Belmonte explains how journalists can use data for investigations to bring about change.”

The Future of digital is print-like: Completeness as a service (and other affordances)

“The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette is in the midst of a multi-year project to convert its print audience to iPad-only subscribers. When a recent update from Medill renewed industry discussion, digital-journalism thinkers could be forgiven for seeing the effort as an isolated bit of backward-thinking.”

A reminder of what's coming in journalism, media, and technology this year

A summary of the key findings from a survey of 230 CEOs, editors and digital leaders from 32 different countries.

Trust tips newsletter: How to start earning trust

An RJI and API project emails quick, actionable tips for generating trust to your inbox every Tuesday. Sign up and see past tips here.

👩‍💻 Technology

The biggest SEO mistake content marketers make

The rules of SEO have changed dramatically – here’s how you can avoid the mistakes that content marketers still make by prioritising high-quality content above everything else.

Publishers losing ad revenue due to content 'blacklists'

“UK newspaper and magazine publishers lost almost £170m in digital revenue last year as technology designed to stop advertisements from appearing next to hard-hitting content, such as shootings and terrorism, also inadvertently blocked them from appearing in some of the most popular stories of the year.”

Evening Standard producer on the role of video & audio in publishing

Chris Stone, the Executive Producer of Video & Audio at the Evening Standard, talks to the Media Voices podcast about the role video plays in their journalism and why they decided to launch two podcasts.

🤷 WTF?

We recently discovered this not-at-all new tool from Google that lets you check the popularity of words and phrases in millions of books over a very extensive timeframe. Pretty neat! But take it with a pinch of salt, according to Wired.

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