Can news publishers ever make money without advertising? For most of the legacy organisations, that’s an unthinkable proposition. They didn’t manage to port across their valuable advertising businesses, let alone transition to a model that doesn’t include advertising at all. And yet it’s the contention of De Correspondent’s founders that when news organisations put editorial above advertising, the money will follow.
Their plan was and still is crowd funding. They are adamant that it is “the one truly independent way to fund journalism. We only have to acknowledge the wishes of ourselves and our readers” – not advertisers, not shareholders. Initially they raised $1.7m from 18,933 crowd-funders – no small sum. It helps that founders Pfauth and Wijnberg are famous in Holland and that Wijnberg announced the initiative on a popular TV programme (during the show more than 5,000 people donated $80 or more).
Wijnberg says: “From my experience at large news organisations I can tell you that the importance of advertising in journalism is blatantly overrated: you can have a solid business case without ads; the only reason why we are lead to believe that journalism cannot do without it is because without ads it is much harder to maximise profits for shareholders.”
Google announced the latest iteration of its Trends platform at the Global Editors Network Summit, describing it as the biggest update to the service since its initial launch. Of the new platform, which Googe’s director of its News Labs Steve Grove describes as being first and foremost for journalists and media organisations, Grove explained:
“We wanted to reimagine Google Trends for the audience of media to make it much more valuable to newsrooms around the world. Google Trends has been around since around 2007, it’s been a really interesting product, we know that newsrooms use it. We also knew that we could make it a lot better for journalists.”
To that end, Google’s recent hire Simon Rogers (formerly of the Guardian) explained how the relaunch will enable journalists to parse the big datsets that are becoming central to good journalism more easily. But there were other key takeaways from summit, about news distribution and payment methods.
- Netflix will have larger audience than Big Four networks within the year: Business Insider reports on predictions by an FBR analyst that Netflix has a bigger audience than any single cable network.
- Publishers to ramp up Facebook Instant article production: WSJ report on the next step of the Facebook Instant Articles trial.
- BuzzFeed faces further accusations of stealing content: How long do you give a fledgling news organisation the benefit of the doubt over accusations of content theft?
- 10 numbers that defines the news business today: Ken Doctor takes a choice look at ten key figures that define the media landscape.
- Inside the Sony hack: Fortune embark on a longform look at the causes and ramifications of the Sony leaks.
The above articles are original TheMediaBriefing analysis, and initially published in our daily morning newsletter.
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