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New Revenue for News

New Revenue for News

A presentation to CUNY’s Summer Entrepreneurial Journalism Training by Josh Stearns (@jcstearns)

Josh Stearns

June 24, 2015

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  1. REVENUE 101: 
 WHAT’S POSSIBLE? CUNY Beat Business Training Josh

    Stearns Director of Journalism Sustainability Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation @jcstearns
  2. When assessing potential business models take into consideration these three

    areas: Desirable (Do people want it?) Viable (Can it make money?) Feasible (Can you build it?) Aim for the center, but start with desire.
  3. ADVERTISING • Banners and Boxes - The Batavian • Directories

    - Technical.ly, Red Bank Green • Content Recommendations - Outbrain • Sponsorships - Greensboro News and Record, Wired and Slate • Underwriting - VT Digger • Native Ads - Billy Penn, The Lo Down
  4. ADVERTISING Can you sell them? Can you serve them? Do

    you need to design them? Will they be seen? Sell your story not your clicks.
  5. EVENTS • Industry (professional conferences) - Mashable, Recode • Ideas

    (multi-day idea festivals) - Texas Tribune, Atlantic • Political (issue panels) - NJ Spotlight, Politico, Texas Tribune • Social (happy hours, pingpong) - WNYC, Geekwire • Lifestyle (wedding show) - Chattanooga Times Free Press • Cultural (film, food, etc) - Morristown Green, WBEZ, Sheepshead Bites • Gala/Awards (Banquets) - technical.ly, MinnPost • Education/Training (classes) - Amherst Media, Brooklyn Based • Travel - WFCR, The Nation
  6. EVENTS Can you plan them, market them, ensure turn-out? Do

    you have space? Who are your partners? Can you promote them? What does your community need? Can you balance costs versus revenue?
  7. NEWSLETTERS • Web Content & Curation - VillageGreenNJ • Niche

    Content - Dedicated food, event, or parenting newsletter • Advertiser/Sponsor Supported - Politico
  8. NEWSLETTERS Do you have people’s email addresses? Do you have

    a marketing budget? Automated or not? Original or curated? Need to learn the platform, best practices, etc.
  9. MERCHANDISE • Shirts, posters, etc. - Richland Source, Techdirt •

    Subscription Box - My Little Paris, New York Times • Amazon Associate Links - Wirecutter, Brainpickings • Daily Deals - BoingBoing
  10. MERCHANDISE Build on the passionate niches in your community Work

    with local artists and businesses Think about expats who have left your community Plan for fulfillment, factor in extra costs Be transparent about affiliate links
  11. MEMBERSHIP • Membership Program - CrossCut, Voice of San Diego,

    MinnPost • Loyalty Program - Charging Readers - The Bungalower • Loyalty Program - Charging Advertisers - Brick City Live
  12. MEMBERSHIP What will you offer members? How will you market

    it? Who on staff will sustain those relationships? Can membership be non-financial (barter)? What is your ideal membership size?
  13. SERVICES • Digital Marketing and Social Consulting - NJ Bites,

    Gannett • SEO Advice and Consulting - StateCollege.com • Marketing Partnerships - JSHN and JS inMotion • Job Boards and Networking - Technical.ly • Photography or Video Services - Morristown Green, Amherst Media
  14. SERVICES What skills do you have on staff? What needs

    do you and your local businesses share? What are you already doing that you could be charging for? How do you price it?
  15. SIDE BUSINESS • Web Design Firm - Heidi Heleniak •

    Communications Strategy and Consulting - Deb Smith • Coffee Shop that Subsidizes a Newsroom • Co-working Space - Civic Hall/Civicist, Corner Media • Financial Advice - Times of London
  16. SIDE BUSINESS How do you split your time? How do

    you legally structure the two businesses? What skills do you have on staff? What needs do you and your local businesses share?
  17. PRINT • Magazines - The Lo Down • Monthly Newspaper

    - New Brunswick Today • Local Guides (food, outdoor, etc…) - Watershed Post
  18. PRINT Does the potential profit outweigh the costs? How will

    you distribute (direct mail, at local businesses, boxes, subscribers?) Can you manage the production time on top of your regular reporting? Does it help you reach a different audience?
  19. PREMIUM CONTENT • Research (Industry and Issue) - NJ Spotlight,

    Skift, Economist • Archives - especially creative uses of archives (WNYC, NPR) • Apps - Radiolab, This American Life
  20. PREMIUM CONTENT What are your areas of expertise? What do

    you know better than anyone? How can you repackage your archives? Are there niches inside your audience you can serve more deeply? Would passionate fans pay for an app to get access or new functionality?
  21. PAYWALLS • Hard or Metered - Franklin Reporter and Advocate

    • Micropayments - Winnipeg Free Press, Blendle • Google Surveys - Columbia Missourian, others
  22. PAYWALLS Can you afford to lose traffic? Are you selling

    by clicks? Is there anyone else covering your topic/community without a paywall? How many subscribers do you need to be sustainable? What does the user want?
  23. EBOOKS • Exclusive Editions (new content) - Forbes • Repackaging

    Old Content - New York Times, ProPublica
  24. Do you have the layout skills on staff? Are there

    topics you cover regularly? Is there a compelling story that has stretched over time? Can you tap into local curiosity, pride, or history? What is the right price and format? EBOOKS
  25. PHILANTHROPY • Donations - Berkeleyside • Crowdfunding - New Brunswick

    Today, The Lo Down • Foundations - Nonprofit, Commercial, Hybrid
  26. PHILANTHROPY Can you receive funding? How long will the funding

    last? What strings are attached? What will it take to raise the money?
  27. CUNY Beat Business Training Josh Stearns Director of Journalism Sustainability

    Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation @jcstearns Sign up for my newsletter: tinyletter.com/jcstearns