From micropayments to eBooks (and NFTs): How publishers can diversify their revenue

What's New in Publishing 24 Nov 2021 08:45

5 unconventional ideas, from 50 Ways to Make Media Pay (new report)

Ten years ago, digital media upstarts placed their bets on advertising. Today, it’s obvious that reader revenue is a more promising model. Although we don’t know which business model will dominate in 2031, it’s always a good idea for media outlets to diversify their revenue and look at new ways to earn money. 

A new report from What’s New in Publishing, authored by Professor Damian Radcliffe, looks at 50 ways the media can make money in today’s market. The Fix picked five interesting and unconventional examples – from micropayments to archives and eBooks.

1) Micropayments: payments for specific stories 

Digital subscriptions are increasingly common, but the system has a visible gap – in most cases, you can’t pay to read a specific story without subscribing to the whole publication.

It’s still hard to figure out the economics of micropayments, but there are some notable startups in this field, including Blendle and Axate (and Few¢ents). The Winnipeg Free Press, a Canadian outlet, has successfully leveraged micropayments as a way to attract subscribers.

An adjacent opportunity is preparing paid research reports. Various media outlets, such as The Economist and Business Insider, have sister units focused on selling research. Some other publications make research a part of their pitch for potential paid subscribers, such as The Information preparing organizational charts.

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Professor Damian RadcliffeThe Winnipeg Free PressEconomistandBusiness InsiderNFTNew York Times