Esther was at Press Gazette’s first Future of Media Technology Conference last week, tweeting proof from a busy room that in-person events are back. Her piece for What’s New in Publishing highlights the opening session, covering revenue strategies for news media, including paywalls, micropayments, licensing and even merchandise.
My favourite thing about the revenue merry-go-round at the moment is the rehabilitation of advertising inside the paywall pivot. Bad advertising is bad, but not all advertising is bad and it’s satisfying to hear people like News UK’s David Dinsmore say things like, “I don’t think it’s paywalls versus advertising… it’s paywalls and advertising.”
He said: “The trick nowadays is how you get advertisers increasingly interested in that really well-defined, large and growing digital audience.“ That’s actually always been the trick, it’s just that people forgot.
Also at the Press Gazette conference was Ellis Watson, former CEO of DC Thomson. I’ve heard him speak before and it is truly a joy. Besides advising the industry to cheer up in his own inimitable style, he suggested more originality. “In UK media right now there is this really weird schizophrenic state where everyone’s looking at what everyone else is doing… go and make a few waves yourself and be a little bit braver in your own business model.” Amen Sir.
Having just boosted originality, a good idea is still a good idea and Axios’s signature writing format, smart brevity, has won them real success. They are now sharing their secrets on targeting time-poor audiences in a book and free workshops and in this recent Journalism.co.uk podcast Jacob Granger talks to editor-in-chief Sara Kehaulani Goo about how the formula works.
It’s hard to believe that it’s been two years since Casey Newton struck out on his own with Platformer, but here’s his second State of the Substack address. He’s doing well, growing his subscriber list to 75,000 and describing his business as ‘growing and sustainable’. In this post, he’s explaining all the things he’s done to get there.
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