News & Opinion

Enders Analysis: reader-first news media

The latest Enders report discusses the drivers of sustainable revenue growth for publications and the need to put readers front and centre.

In a climate of “fake news”, the appetite for trusted news sources in the UK continues to grow, according to the Edelman Trust barometer. This comes as the proportion of people paying for digital news is increasing year-on-year and PAMCo’s latest figures show that an additional one million people read news brands every day.

The study references the learnings of 20 case studies from Europe and the U.S. and concludes that “subscriptions will work in some cases, but that a more systematic reader-first approach will be a benefit in all cases”. One example they draw on that illustrates how reader engagement and diversification can fund quality journalism and ensure high reach, is The Guardian.

Referred to as “the most important media success of the last two years”, The Guardian’s donations model led to the publication breaking-even earlier this year. One million people are now willing to pay for content, with 55% of its revenue coming from digital, once again showing how readers are consuming news across platforms. Looking to the future, The Guardian wants to attract two million financial supporters by 2022.

The report continues by drawing on the diversifying access readers have; from The Guardian mobile app; 17 podcasts; Guardian Weekly Magazine; membership events; and The Guardian VR app.

As news brands continue to expand their offerings, publications like The Times are already seeing the benefits. The total time spent by The Times readers on each device favours tablets, which the study points out demonstrates their importance in a platform-diverse world. This provides a huge amount of potential for advertisers and publications alike. 

Moving forward, the report calls on news brands to continue producing unique quality content targeted at specific audience segments, providing readers with an experience and offering they can’t find anywhere else. The report identifies six key parameters for this:

  1. Brand
  2. Distinct voice
  3. Bundle
  4. Value, purpose and impact
  5. Pricing and entry
  6. Customer services

Source: Enders Analysis

Hannah Ohm Thomas 03/07/19

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