Monday, 28 January 2008

Making money from online news

Paul Bradshaw's excellent series on the 21st century newsroom concluded with a round-up of how money can be made in the current online news climate.

A rapid development of online media has seen the newspaper industry struggle to keep up as the internet developed into multimedia and social-networking, but is now attempting to claw its way back with web2.0 redesigns and new business models aimed at maximising a multi platform approach to publishing.

This is easier said than done, but the nationals have taken the lead by improving their web offering by making sites more user friendly in terms of interaction and as a source of multimedia content.

The user and content are kings online, as there is a more level playing field than any other media, choice means online news sites must be lean, on the ball as well as clever about their revenue-making opportunities.

No one is making serious money from online news sites, there is no tried and tested business model.

But gradually as Paul points out we are figuring out what the customer wants, and bringing the audience and advertisers closer, in order to maximise value for money to the client and give the audience a more relevant commercial offering.

It is a steep learning curve for all inside the newspaper industry, as doing the 21st century news operation properly as the 2nd dotcom bubble grows means starting from scratch in some terms of technical and IT structures.

In order to maximise the examples and areas you rightly mention, companies have to really look at how they get content onto different platforms and how effectively and efficiently their advertising platforms work as inevitably money needs to be saved wherever possible.

Integration is key in terms of a multimedia approach to content, advertising and staffing. If your staff aren't ready or wholly willing to jump on the multimedia news publishing train it will hold up any progress.

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