Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Revenue ideas for newspapers

Twenty years ago businesses spent 70 per cent of their marketing budget on advertising. Now it's down to 30 per cent and falling. Bad news for those who rely on selling advertising space for their revenue - including newspapers. But are there other ways to bring in the cash? That was the question the editor of InPublishing asked, when he commissioned to me to write a piece on 'radical revenue ideas for newspapers.' I spoke to MDs, editors, advertising guru Jim Chisholm and Will Lewis, who has been charged with driving new revenue streams at the Telegraph. Not sure there is really too much that is radical out there but it is clear that national newspapers in particular are working hard to find new ways to chase the money. These were some that emerged:
The Telegraph sells everything from shoes to holidays.
Commission-based partnerships
Loans, savings accounts and investment advice is reputed to have netted the Telegraph £1m per year in commission.
Marketing solutions
70% of marketing spend is on PR, campaigns, direct marketing, online etc. Local newspapers should offer marketing strategy services to every business on their patch.
Everyone from Tindle to Murdoch is giving it a go.
Online gambling
Sun's online bingo is UK's biggest. Mort Zuckerman reckons online gambling could save every US newspaper.
The Guardian's iPhone app sold 70,000 at £2.39 (£167,000) in first month.
Selling archives
Newspapers can charge for search passes and downloads, sell images, produce books and much more.
Suntalk is broadcast in Spain. Trinity and CN bidding for funding to provide regional TV programmes.
Courses and events
US newspapers run everything from exhibitions to gourmet evenings.
Public funding
Government is funding Independently Funded News Consortia. There may be more.
Community funding
Website models where community pays for investigations.
Selling customer data to third parties can be lucrative.

The full article in on the InPublishing Knowledge Bank or you can download it from SMS articles.

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