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Create a differentiated experience that The Future of Newspapers and Magazines in the Digital Era

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Create a differentiated experience that rewards with target audiences and then refine them iteratively. To be successful over the long haul, strategies that facilitate and reward frequent usage willinteraction. win out over others (like metered billing) that penalize the most engaged readers. Using monetization strategies in tandem can offer customers moreMost readers won’t pay for static content that rehashes what they can choice. Three of the more interesting models include:get elsewhere for free. While niche consumer or B2B publications (oftenclaimed as a work expense) will find this easier to do, every publisher • Free-mium/tiered subscriptions: Free-mium combines ad-supportedshould strive to differentiate their offerings by combining authoritative content with paid premium services. With Apple and Google bothinformation, exclusivity, and community in unique ways to generate interest announcing subscription payment services in February, thereand compel users to pay for access. Macworld has pursued this approach has been a renewed interest in monetizing digital content using awith its premium website, Macworld Insider, which provides an ad-free subscription model. Providing a layer of free access can eventuallysite layout, back issue access, full-content RSS feeds, a members-only entice readers into subscribing to paid services. The key is tonewsletter and forum, plus live chats with editors and writers. Embedding accommodate different audience segments with quality contenttools or services in content that allow it to be customized or personalized is they cannot get elsewhere. One company said to be doing wellanother way to raise engagement. with a tiered model (registered users only, subscribers only) is The Financial Times, which saw no loss in visitors or ad revenue whenSocial media, particularly Facebook, has changed the way we interact they put up their pay wall last year.with content. By adding social features such as reviews, comments,favorites, and recommendations, savvy publishers can deepen customer • Microtransactions: Several newspapers and magazines arerelationships and turn sharing from a liability into an important source of now considering offering individual articles or features à la carte,referrals. While it is still too early to tell if their efforts will be successful, The while some already allow paid one-day or one-week access. ByJournal Register is one newspaper company that is attempting to transform unbundling their content, publishers allow consumers to customizethe way it does business by using web-based tools to empower audiences and personalize information to make it more valuable to them.to help shape and participate in newsgathering. Another take on this model is the newspaper and magazine portal. Visitors sign up to a single micropayment system to access a wide selection of publications or content and have the flexibility of payingBe flexible in your approach to monetization by the article or by the day.models. • Marketplace: With this model, publishers make their content assets available to a developer community to build commercial and non-For the last decade, publishers have intensely debated whether or not commercial digital products and applications. By allowing theirconsumers will pay directly for newspaper and magazine content. While content to be used in new ways, magazines and newspapers canmost consumers have yet to make a purchase, many show willingness to speed innovation, build partnerships, and potentially monetize theirpay for access of some type—whether by the article, through all access content more easily than they could alone. The UK-based Guardianplans, or for ancillary services. is the first newspaper to offer a fully open API with tools for using their resources on other platforms and for integrating apps directlyWith few bona fide successes to look to for guidance, publishers must within their network.explore a variety of monetization strategies to find those that resonate best15 The Future of Newspapers and Magazines in the Digital Era www.elasticpath.com

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