Headache or challenge? Developing a business model in the field of digital communication and, more specifically, journalism, is not easy. The paper resists, yes, but it seems inevitable not to think of it as an approach to eventual products. And it's there where starts the question to be solved: How to help media to increase their incomes in Internet when from the beginning the bulk of the information was offered at zero cost?
In the Opennemas team we often talk about it. How to organize or undertake a journalistic project from the bottom up and, of course, betting on a long-term viability. And the answer, as almost always, is that everything depends. For example, of the type of content to offer and also the philosophy of the newspaper. And a case, for example, is The Guardian, where they still resist to fix a paywall and, therefore, they ask for the collaboration of readers based on assumable monthly contributions.
Oh! And we have written several tips to keep in mind to help you focus your business model. They are the following five:
1. Dive into the void without funds? A mistake: If you start from scratch with your digital newspaper and your forecast is to stabilize a model based on the ads incomes from the pageviews, you must know (or understand) that seating a sufficient audience for it takes time. Have you considered carrying out a 'crowdfunding' campaign to take the first steps? Do not discard it, because your only debt will be with those who have contributed. And having a Jeff Bezos behind your back is not usual.
2. Differentiate is to look for a market space: Imagine for a moment that through your head passes the idea of creating a media of general information under a satirical brand. Could you fight in the medium term with El Mundo Today? So important is the passion for an initiative as being realistic with its possibilities. Conducts a previous study to evaluate a possible existence of competitors. Something like a benchmarking to see if the idea has already been worked and what formats worked well.
3. If you offer innovative contents, think about a subscription model: Specialization will tell a lot about the future of digital media. What if the best content of your weekly programming is a podcast that you could send to your readers or listeners? Perhaps you could give priority to the audience that is registered and pays for it during the first 48 hours, giving free access to it on the web in the following days, opting for a source of potential subscribers in the future.
4. Free news, paywall or content payment?: Each media adopts a different strategy depending on its possibilities. For example, in The New York Times they take time emphasizing their commitment by the subscriptions. The reader pays a weekly or annual amount for reading the news, gaining independence versus the financial volatility of advertisements. As we mentioned before, The Guardian stands firm on its idea of giving free access to its contents, but asks for help to maintain the format: a monthly contribution of £4.99.
5. Every project starts on a blackboard... Or a template: We recommend you the one created by the Sembra Media team, with Janine Warner at the top. Several questions, all simple and going to the heart of the matter: What problems will solve, sources of incomes, distribution channels... A very good sketch to not going crazy and leave a project in a few weeks. And having a good idea is important, but sustaining it over time is crucial.
By the way... If after reading this you are thinking about creating your own media, come to Opennemas and in just one minute you will have it TOTALLY FREE. Discover everything that our CMS offers to you and, if you still have doubts or you want to make a proposal, you can talk to us!