First things first - this isn’t just an article for those of you working in newsrooms. It’s got some valuable lessons for anyone involved in the business of publishing.
There are two important points in the opening of this. Copying what other publishers are doing isn’t a recipe for success. And also, what works now might not necessarily work in the future. Ads were a brilliant source of revenue for decades; now, not so much. Who’s to say reader revenue will be relevant in 2050?
We talk about the need for a diversified business model all the time here at Media Voices (mix of six!). But being able to react and anticipate industry trends as an organisation is probably a better guarantee of longevity, as David Tvrdon concludes:
“Running a mixed business model might appear to be better suited for the future. I think it is not the model that matters but the organisation and how it can adapt.”
An ironic follow-on, given Protocol is exclusively funded by ads. It’s a tale as old as time: find a niche, go deep into it, build a valuable audience, attract high-spend advertisers. In this case, Protocol focuses on the people, power and politics of tech, and isn’t afraid to dive into obscure points of policy and make it accessible to its professional audience.
If you haven’t had time to go through the Journalism, Media, and Technology Trends and Predictions 2022 report, Marcela Kunova has helpfully rounded up the nine things you need to know. I thought the part about AI was particularly interesting - 85% of publishers say that it will be very or somewhat important to them this year.
The Associated Press is creating an NFT marketplace to sell its photographers’ work as blockchain-based tokens. The outlet seems to be targeting collectors, who will have the ability to resell the art to other buyers. It’s one of the less daft experiments in the space by publishers (cough…Rabbitars) and it’s nice to see them at least thinking about a more environmentally friendly way of going about it.
This week's podcast:
We’re releasing the first episode of 2022 on Jan 17th; a special looking at local news start-ups in the US and what they need to become sustainable. In the meantime, here’s a throwback from last year:
All these trends and predictions are all very well, but you can’t make firm plans for the future without having a good understanding of where things have got to right now. That’s where our Media Moments 2021 report can help. It rounds up the key moments from last year, and for our launch, we were joined by a panel of experts who shared what they’re keeping an eye on for 2022. Catch up with the audio version here.
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