Direct reader revenues on top of newspapers’ strategies in 2017

In its annual predictions report, The Reuters Institute summarises the views and strategies of 143 key decision makers at newspapers publishers across 24 countries. We have selected 5 important takeaways for decision makers aiming at monetising their premium content offering.

We are very happy to see that at Twipe we are actively developing technology solutions that help to answers many of the challenges faced by newspaper publishers today: our new EngageReaders solutions allows to build deep understanding of readers behaviour and translate this into pragmatic insights for the newsroom and the commercial teams at publishers. Our NextGen publishing platform allows more easily to convert anonymous readers into paid for readers.

Direct reader payment is #1 strategy to generate more revenues

The key and urgent challenge – mentioned by almost all print publishers – is to find new digital revenues to replace falling print advertising. In terms of most important commercial priorities, there is a clear move away from traditional advertising towards direct reader payment (45%), membership (14%) and sponsored content (42%) whether through text or video.

Direct Reader Revenues

Direct Reader Revenues are the first focus area of surveyed digital leaders.

Less paywalls, more memberships

We’ll hear less about paywalls and more about membership this year. The Guardian has spent much of the last year rethinking its commercial strategy and will be focusing far more on trying to extract payment from readers though scaling its membership scheme globally. For companies that already operate a paid model, the switch is more one of emphasis.

“Our core strategy going forward will be a resolute focus on membership”
Wall Street Journal’s Chief Innovation Officer Ed Roussel

Big data to increase loyalty and personalisation

Only by knowing more about  customers can media companies hope to compete with Facebook in creating more relevant and
personal experiences, which may eventually lead to revenue. This year, media companies will be investing heavily in data, segmentation and recommendation initiatives (61%) along with registration and sign-in drives (52%).

Media companies are expected to invest in big data to increase loyalty and personalization

Media companies are expected to invest in big data to increase loyalty and personalisation

Visual alerts to conquer the lockscreen

The Guardian, Mic and others have been experimenting with sending rich-media messages to the lockscreen, recently enabled by both Apple and Android. These include graphics, live data visualisations and even video. It is likely that the Android and Apple notification platforms will become every bit as important for the news industry as Facebook Instant Articles, Google AMP and Facebook Messenger and Snapchat Discover. The role of the lockscreen as a gateway to content has been talked about for many years but only now are we seeing the ease of use and range of functionality begin to meet those expectations.

Richer Visual Messages on their way to the Lockscreen

Visual messages capture the attention of readers on the lockscreen.

Podcasts and audio books get a big boost in the car

More than 200 car models will integrate with either Apple Car Play or Android Auto in 2017. These services support hands free
messaging and integrated maps, alongside familiar app-like ways of discovering a wealth of audio content. The big mobile players are set to replace the manufacturer branded in car entertainment systems.

More than 50m American listen to podcasts monthly, with growth of 23% in the last year. That’s good for existing producers but also for new players looking at the opportunities for disruption.

  • 60DB aggregates short stories, news, sports, politics and business from traditional brands and new players
  • Curio takes thoughtful, longer pieces of journalism and gets a professional to read to you
  • Anchor is one of many new audio blogging platforms that is focussed on creating and sharing content
Brings news audio stories to the people.

60dB brings news audio stories to the people.

Curio.io brings podcasts from high quality publications.

Curio.io brings podcasts from high quality publications.

Anchor.fm: radio broadcasting created by individuals

Anchor.fm: radio broadcasting created by individuals

Read here the full Reuters Institute Report JOURNALISM, MEDIA, AND TECHNOLOGY TRENDS AND PREDICTIONS 2017.