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What the Membership Puzzle Project learned after four years: The Media Roundup

“The puzzle turned out to be more complicated than we thought”: After four years, the Membership Puzzle Project is winding down

We’ve highlighted the work of the Membership Puzzle Project a number of times over the years, partly because it’s excellent, and partly because it’s a hugely important topic they’re tackling.

Nieman Lab’s Sarah Scire has done a brilliant round-up of the project, from its early ambitions starting out to what they’ve learned as the official end date approaches.

One of the key takeaways from MPP’s work is that membership is not a silver bullet. The conclusion – that “most sustainable news organisations have several sources of revenue, with memberships serving as just one stream” – is a drum we’ve banged many times. But the additional research and resources produced by this project will undoubtedly help publishers around the world improve their membership offerings for many years to come.

Why media executives can’t afford to ignore blockchain innovation

I’ll be honest here: I don’t think this is like digital transformation and that if publishers wait cautiously to see how blockchain can be of use, that they’ll be disadvantaged. But nonetheless it’s an interesting exploration of some of the potential applications of the technology in the future. Just have a bucket of salt ready.

Gal-dem editor Suyin Haynes on diversity in the media and making news pay

“I do think things are changing,” says gal-dem editor Suyin Haynes of diversity in journalism after a year in which racial equality has been thrust into the spotlight and the news industry forced to look at itself. Press Gazette takes a look at gal-dem’s journey up to this point, including progress on their membership model.

Post-COVID traffic declines set some sites back two years

After sky-high traffic levels for many publishers last year, it was somewhat inevitable that at some point, declines would kick in. But small publishers are being hit disproportionately, with Parsely measuring that the drops for many small publishers have been so steep that they are now behind where they were in 2019 in terms of pageviews.

This content originally appeared in The Media Roundup, a daily newsletter from Media Voices. Subscribe here: