By: Elizabeth Coffey, Marketing G2 Digital Marketing Specialist
While the newspaper as you know it evolved from the handwritten news sheets popular in Venice circa 1566, the modern American newspaper got its start in the colonies in the early part of 18th century. Since then, news consumption has undergone a series of radical changes in America and all over the world due to globalization, innovation, and unforeseeable market disruptions.
Ad revenue has been the news industry’s bread and butter for a long time, because, for a while there at least, newspapers were the primary way local advertisers could get their business information in front of the people in the market they served. It was great being the only game in town.
The inventions of the telegraph, radio, and television all had their effect on the news industry (giving news producers new mediums to work with and disseminate their news through) but none of them forced the news industry to change their game. That is until the invention of the internet.
The internet and the digital revolution had a profound effect on many industries, but perhaps none felt the effect so acutely as the newspaper industry. News publishers tried giving away their content for free online in hopes that their old standby of a business model would continue to be sustainable.
This, as more and more news publishers are finding out, isn’t the case with the advent of tech giants like Facebook and Google entering the market and gobbling up all the ad revenue with their enhanced ability to offer data-driven customer targeting.
Now the push is to drive traditional subscription sales based on days of the week in the hopes that this will sustain the newspaper industry, but there are two giant problems with this proposed solution (besides Google and Facebook):
Over the next few weeks in this series of articles, you’ll learn why micropayments and a new subscription model are needed to save the news industry (so that news publishers can make money every time they create value) and to propel journalism into the digital age where the modern currencies are the trustworthiness and merit of news content, information, and consumer data.
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