STEP 1:  Create

STEP 2:  ?????

STEP 3:  Profit!

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How can print publishers develop online business models?

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News organizations of all sorts are struggling with ways to monetize their operations.  Newspapers are especially threatened by digital competitors, though, as ad revenues are shifting towards companies that are more dedicated towards consumer purchases.

So what are some business models that news organizations can try?
initiated Apr 28, 2011 in Business Models by Michael Ho (2,370 points)   10 14 27
edited May 2, 2011 by Michael Ho

4 Responses

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I do wonder if there really is, truly, anyone left who can be called just a "print publisher."  It seems pretty much everyone has to have *some sort* of digital strategy these days.

However, if we're talking about ways for such "legacy" publishers to jump to the digital age, I think they need to start recognizing the power and relevance of the communities and fans they've built up already.  Traditionally (even if they're loath to admit it), these businesses have been about bringing together a community and then selling their "attention."  That worked when there were limited options.

However, today, with so many options for "attention" there's a lot more competition, and many of those publishers didn't spend much (if any) time trying to make sure that they really served the needs of their community.

So, to succeed, such publishers need to reinvest in really adding value for their community.  That means really listening and responding to that community, and providing additonal tools and features (and not all such tools and features apply to all communities) that fit with what that community is there to achieve.
response added May 17, 2011 by Mike Masnick (22,930 points)   59 99 160
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Kevin Kelly's Eight Generatives Better Than Free provide excellent opportunities in terms of business models for such organisations.

Immediacy: people will pay to get the news first. This is how BNO News managed to come out of nowhere and find their own niche. This is hard for mainstream news, but if you manage to consistently inform people about a very specific news, it could be a 'reason to buy/subscribe'.

Personalization: speaks for itself. Maybe newspapers should behave more like feedly.

Interpretation: let people follow giant streams of information for free and offer curation, review, context and interpretation for a premium fee. 

Authenticity: no inspiration for this one at the moment.

Accessibility: perhaps a newspaper app that lets you take a snapshot of a newspaper and loads the paper into your app/phone/tablet for 1 dollar?

Embodiment: this is part of the reason why newspapers are not dead yet. Even though the content is available online, some people prefer the embodiment of the print version.

Patronage: this is also a big one. Some people will even call themselves "proud xyz subscribers". In Holland there are some newspapers, eg. Financial Daily, that throw business events and some people come because of the event itself, but some people come because of the connection they have with the brand.

Findability: not sure about this one (besides the traditional way).

response added May 18, 2011 by Bas Grasmayer (410 points)   1 1 4
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First I guess I'll pimp my 10 Reasons To Buy for Newspapers post, because I think there are a few good ideas in there:

Other than that, I think there is one big and important factor: scaling back print. Most newspapers are not yet ready to accept that print circulation is going to go down in the long run - they are still obsessed with drawing in new subscribers. Obviously they are somewhat locked into this behaviour by the economics of what they do (print advertising still represents the biggest slice of their income), so it's not like it's something that can change overnight - but I think planning for (or at least acknowledging the inevitability of) a future in which print news has become a specialty product is a BIG part of developing a strategy.
response added May 19, 2011 by Leigh Beadon (2,650 points)   5 14 22
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Recent research reports published by GroupM, the largest media company in respect to billings with headquarters in New York reveal that Advertising patterns also reveal that spending on digital advertising in India has grown from a figure of just around 1% of the total advertising expenditure in 2005 to reach a figure of 7% in the year 2012. A colossal shift from print and offline media to internet media has become a significant rundown on recent trends of growth and expenditure on advertising. In India, the trends of the share of print media as a part of total advertising expenditure being replaced by digital Classifieds have been quite significant.

Quoting from a survey by Bright Roll of the U.S. advertising agency executives - “75% of respondents said online video ads were equally or more effective than traditional TV. Nine out of 10 also thought online video ads had an equal or greater impact than display ads. E-Marketer estimates that video ad spending will grow 41.4% in 2013, to reach $4.1 billion.”

Digital classifieds are an attempt to modernize the conventional classifieds from newspapers to classifieds being posted online. 2013 is going to witness growing trends for free online classifieds ads. The turn of the year has marked a growing inclination towards ads posting sites like making it to headlines every now and then. The very fact that free classifieds in India and websites like have been so much talked about is enough to elucidate that print media is growing obsolete by the day.

Online marketing in India has come to reflect the following trends in the past two financial years: A growth of up to 46% was witnessed in the share of online advertising from 2010-11 to 2011-12. This growth took to a figure of 54% in the F.Y. 2012-13. This growth pattern is expected to center on the figure of 29% in terms of the year to year growth. The above figures are based on figures published by GroupM as a part of their Worldwide Media and Marketing Forecasts series.

With changing times, electronic media came to be recognized over the print media. Today, digital advertising, mainly in the nature of online advertising holds a prime position. Classifieds that had originally started as a dedicated page in the Daily have shifted their focus to the internet. Companies and Individuals no more look up the National or the Regional daily in search of jobs and lucrative deals and offers. Say, a person who wants to sell a property in Delhi would simply log on to a free ads posting site like and post a sell a property ad and get instant response.


response added Jul 5, 2013 by Nisha pattar (160 points)  

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