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How specialist media businesses are reinventing business models and diversifying revenues: Di5rupt report

20 of Europe’s specialist media innovators share their experiences and strategies for growing revenues, including best practices, revenue sources and investment priorities

Specialist media businesses are thriving by serving consumer and professional communities around topics of interest. It is a bustling, agile sector with creator-led, consumer and B2B media. 

Even news organisations are developing and acquiring media for specialist communities – for example, The New York Times’s acquisition of The Athletic. Business models are replicated in new areas – for example, Vogue’s launch of Vogue Business. And enthusiasts and expert creators are serving communities through vibrant Substacks, podcasts and more.

Di5rupt have just launched their latest Mx3 Leadership report on specialist media innovators in Europe, written by digital media consultant Carolyn Morgan. The 43-page independent report, based on qualitative interviews and quantitative survey data, highlights European specialist media, focusing on the innovations and trends driving it forward.

The “Specialist Media Innovators in Europe” report is free and available to download here.

Business models in specialist consumer and B2B media

According to the report, based on research into innovation in media across Europe, business models in specialist consumer and B2B media are changing dramatically.

  • Digital revenues are contributing an increasing share of media revenues. And while the story of traditional print publishers pivoting to digital advertising and subscriptions is an important trend, the report also covers many digital-only new entrants. 
  • Revenue diversification is a common theme, with smart businesses identifying new needs among their audiences, and developing marketplaces, tools, data, services and consultancy for a broad range of organisations and individuals. 
  • Technology investment is crucial, whether that is buying in third party tech platforms to better understand audience behaviour and streamline the content production process or hiring your own in-house dev team and becoming a software developer. 
  • More specialist media businesses are exploring collaboration with partners or even competitors, especially sharing technology investments. 
  • Media is becoming ever more international. Many media businesses are launching events or media brands into nearby countries. Linguistic barriers are lowering, and organisations realise that innovative business models can successfully cross borders.

Smart businesses are identifying new audience needs and developing marketplaces, tools and services for a broad range of organisations…

“Specialist Media Innovators in Europe” report

The “Specialist Media Innovators in Europe” report is free and available to download here.

The report includes 20 company profiles of innovators from 13 countries—from digital startups to established publishers. It has 6 in-depth interviews with specialist media leaders—including the full interviews on video—and results from a survey of 56 European media leaders

It also highlights 7 ideas and strategies from profiled innovators that publishers can employ in their own businesses. These include ideas on: 

  • Audience
  • Content
  • Product
  • Events and communities
  • Marketing
  • Subscriptions, and 
  • Technology

Specialist media, be that creator-, consumer, or B2B-led, is a proven resilient segment of media. What’s more, they continue to innovate as they look for new and better ways to serve their special interest communities.

In this report, the best of Europe’s specialist media innovators share their experiences and strategies for growing revenues, including best practices, revenue sources, and investment priorities.

The “Specialist Media Innovators in Europe” report is free and available to download here.