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Friday, May 27, 2016

How Publishers Will Survive


Antiquated mindsets bar publishers' way to monetizing digital content, Rob Ristagno says in Niche Media.

"Publishers often cite a 10% rule of thumb, meaning only one out of ten print subscribers pays for a digital replica," he says.

But exceptions to the rule abound (for example, with over one million subscribers, the digital edition of The New York Times).

Publishers' time-honored business model—amass an audience and sell ads based on CPMs—no longer works. 

Why not? Because, while print CPMs sell for $17, digital CPMs sell for $2And the bargain-basement price of digital CPMs only promises to drop, as more publishers abandon print.

Publishers need a new model, Ristagno says. They need to:

Corner a niche market. "Instead of worrying about CPMs, find the most enthusiastic sub-group of your audience and help them solve a specific problem." Once you succeed in one niche, extend to another and another and another.

Sell more than ads. Sell memberships, online courses, research reports and events. "Your business model should survive without advertising. Otherwise, you’re not providing enough value to the consumer."

Publish only great content. "You can’t fool smart people (or Google) with low-quality digital content."

Adopt new technology—now. Off-the-shelf technology is easier and cheaper to deploy than ever. So move quickly. You can tackle fancy integrations another day.

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