Digital Publishing
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The must-read publishing stories you may have missed this week

How the WSJ is building a community around its comments, why bundled subscriptions won’t save news, and more

Is there any hope for news bundles?

Earlier this month, Mogul News launched an app that curates article content from Bloomberg, The Financial Times and The Economist, for £9.99 a month. The app has fierce competition from other curators looking to bundle news at an ‘affordable’ price, from Apple News+, Blendle, Scribd and more.In theory, news bundles should be hugely popular. It’s a model that works really well across music and TV – think Netflix, Hulu, Apple Music and Spotify. And with more publishers putting up paywalls, bundled news apps should, in theory, be very popular.

But that’s not the case, and this week, Simon Owens does a deep dive into the reasons why most paid news apps have failed to amass more than a few hundred thousand subscribers. From a lack of exclusive content to marketing difficulties, there are many reasons why bundling isn’t looking likely to save the news industry.

On the bright side, the exposure that aggregators like Apple News offer presents ample opportunities to convert casual readers into paying members. But generating sustainable reader revenue is a task that must fall on the shoulders of individual publishers, because one thing’s for certain – the bundles just won’t cut it.

@WNIP

What’s new this week

Why bundled subscriptions won’t save the news industry

In theory, news bundles should be hugely popular, especially given the success of bundles in other content categories like music and TV. But this doesn’t seem to actually be the case.

5 key podcasting trends from the Digital News Report 2019
Here, we’ve picked out five key podcasting trends from the report to shed some light on who is listening, when, and why.
WSJ experiments to create a vibrant community around its content
Now that more publishers are focusing on generating direct reader revenue, they are also trying to find ways to make their comments sections more effective.
This July, Google Chrome will make it easier to bypass paywalls
Chrome 76 will introduce a set of changes in its API implementation that will make it almost impossible for publishers to detect when a browser is in incognito mode.
Key insights from FIPP’s “Innovation in Publishing” whitepaper
The companies that are seeing the most success are those that have moved away from ‘chasing innovation for the sake of it,’ towards a more measured, strategic approach.
The Media Podcast Awards: Coming to London in 2020
The awards are designed to celebrate the podcasting success of publishers and media organisations, whether they’ve been in the podcasting space a while or have just launched their first.
How The Economist successfully engages younger readers
Last year, The Economist launched an essay contest for readers aged 16-25, in an attempt to engage younger readers; that was so wildly successful, they’re doing it again. 
“It’s good for your bottom line”: Why magazine media are focusing on social good
Companies are balancing making a profit with being responsible to the planet and the communities that they operate in.
Mary Meeker’s 2019 Internet Trends Report: What publishers need to know
In total, more than half of the world (51%) or 3.8 billion people were internet users last year, up from 49% in 2017.
How people find news and what they’ll pay for (Trust remains an important factor)
While consumers look to reputable news organizations and quality brands for trusted news, many still use search, social media, and aggregators to find and consume news content.
“Podcasts are a phenomenal opportunity”: Advertiser spend goes up 53%
U.S. advertisers spent $479.1 million on podcast advertising in 2018, up 53% from $313.9 million a year earlier.
How content creators can leverage humour: A comic’s advice
For content creators, opportunities to leverage humour include challenging existing notions about the world and enlightening others by offering new insights and unique perspectives.

Download WNIP’s comprehensive new report—50 Ways to Make Media Pay—an essential read for publishers looking at the multiple revenue opportunities available, whether it’s to reach new audiences or double down on existing super-users. The report is free and can be downloaded here.

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