Innovation vs change: 5 ways publishers have truly innovated

Innovation is more than just change, it requires thinking completely outside the box to move forward in a different direction. This week we’ve gathered five case studies analysed in the past year of how publishers have truly innovated. We hope this will help inspire your own digital strategy.

#1. Growing subscriptions through adblockers

“When you look at the revenue of the people who were turning off their ad-blocker, this amounted to a bunch of people’s salaries. This is significant dollars. Even if it doesn’t work that well. Even if you don’t have the technical things worked out perfectly. Just launch this. It’s better to launch an imperfect ad-blocker message than to not have one at all.” –  Ryan Nakashima, a John S. Knight Fellow at Bay Area News Group Read More

#2. Out of the box revenue streams

Building an escape room, launching a DPO for reader investment, and renting on Airbnb: all ways newspapers are thinking outside the box to diversify their revenue stream. These ideas all provide valuable insights into how newspapers must start thinking about their reader revenue strategies, including the need for membership programs, asking readers to support journalism financially, and expanding the definition of local. Read More

#3. Stopping short-term subscription offers

When Xavier Van Leeuwe joined Telegraaf Media Groep in the Netherlands, he analysed the churn rate for their different subscription offers. The clear takeaway was that shorter subscription offers did not result in long-term relationships while still incurring a high acquisition cost. In a bold move, they stopped offering their short term subscriptions, and focused on only their longer subscriptions. Read More

#4. Experimenting with story format

“Stories” are already seen daily by hundreds of millions people (current estimates are 150 million on Facebook, 190 million on Snapchat, and 300 million on Instagram), research from Buffer shows incredible growth in the past year. Reuters predicts that this year Stories will surpass feeds as the main way people share news with friends, a sentiment shared by Facebook Chief Product Officer, Chris Cox. Read More

#5. Owning the relationship with readers

When kiosks such as Blendle first came out on the scene, there were cries that they would be “the saviour of journalism“, but since then things haven’t gone as great. To understand why kiosks are struggling to keep European publishers on board, we’ve taken a deep dive into the world of kiosks.” Read More

This article was written by Mary-Katharine Phillips, Media Innovation Analyst at Twipe from 2017 – 2021.


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