Digital Publishing Reader Revenue Top Stories
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50 ways to make media pay

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This is an excerpt from our free-to-download report, 50 Ways To Make Media Pay


It does not matter whether you’re a non-profit weekly newspaper in a small town, or a large-for profit Fortune 500 company, you cannot rest on your revenue laurels. Publishers, both large and small, need to be constantly innovating in their efforts to ensure financial viability.

The large scale lay-offs we saw at the start of 2019, as well as the widespread financial difficulties which beset much of the industry at the start of the COVID-pandemic, serve as a reminder that monetisation is an ongoing challenge for everyone. 

Here at What’s New in Publishing, we know that our readers are perpetually hungry for ideas and insights which can potentially help their bottom line. And we also know that there are lots of great ideas out there.

With that in mind, in 2018-19 we published a four-part series – later consolidated into a single updated report – that identified “50 Ways To Make Media Pay.”

The aim of the study (which was also translated into Spanish) was to provide inspiration and affirmation for the revenue strategies that publishers around the world are pursuing. 

If a week is along-time in politics, then three years is an aeon for today’s media and publishing industries. As a result, during summer 2021 we made a decision to fully revise and update the original “50 ways” report. 

Many of the previous case studies have changed, evolved, or no longer seem quite so relevant. Because of this, the text for this report has been completely rewritten, ensuring that the examples and data being featured are brought up to date. 

Publishers need to evaluate for themselves the relevance, and potential, of these ideas. What works for one outlet may not work for another. Nonetheless, as this White Paper shows, there are a lot of different revenue-related tactics and approaches that publishers can deploy.

In this revised report we have highlighted the most common, popular and emerging ideas for income generation that we are seeing.

This comprehensive report features examples from around the world of how media organizations, content creators and publishers are diversifying their revenue streams and looking to grow – and expand – their sources of income. 

Damian Radcliffe, Author of 50 Ways To Make Media Pay

The case studies and market data are grouped around five key revenue areas, specifically: subscriptions, paywalls, advertising, premium content and other established and emerging ideas.

Of course, there are also many other great ideas we didn’t have time – or space – to cover.

For further inspiration, we recommend this report is accompanied by a deep dive into a giant hyperlinked listicle that we published in summer-2020, which outlined 231 ways publishers can make media pay.

Whatever the size of your publication, the need to be constantly refreshing and diversifying your revenue base is a strategic priority for almost everyone. As a result, we hope that this report will help to inform and inspire your revenue strategies in 2021 and beyond. 

Originally published in What’s New in Publishing in November 2021. While some of the data points have evolved, the analysis and conclusion remain highly relevant.