The New York Times se está convirtiendo en una compañía digital destacada
It now makes about 40 percent of its revenue from digital, and the path forward is clear and direct.
The dream for any newspaper seeking to last longer than print itself is to transition its business model into digital. The New York Times is almost there.
The Times announced its fourth-quarter and full-year 2018 financials this morning, and there’s a lot of good news. (One quick heuristic I like to run with newspaper company earnings reports is searching the press release to see the ratio of “digital” mentions to “print” mentions. Today: 40 to 17.) The most important: The Times generated $709 million in digital revenue in 2018, putting it ahead of the ambitious goal it set out back in 2015 to hit $800 million in digital revenue by 2020. They’ll make that with little trouble — barring economic collapse, civil war, and so on.
Flush with confidence, Times CEO Mark Thompson laid out a new goal: “to grow our subscription business to more than 10 million subscriptions by 2025.” (He’s really formalizing a goal more than laying one out — 10 million subscriptionshas been a Timesian aspiration for several years now. It has 4.3 million now, counting both digital and print.)
The Times brought in a total of $1.748 billion in 2018, which means digital revenue accounted for just over 40 percent of the total. Given the trendlines in print and digital, it won’t be too long until it hits that 50 percent tipping point — I’d guess Q2 2020. (Times guidance projects digital advertising and circulation revenue to grow in the “mid-teens” from here, with overall revenue growing only in the “low to mid single digits.”)
To show the progress the Times has made in this transition, I pulled the share of its advertising and circulation revenue that came from digital every year since 2013, when it started separating out digital circulation revenue. The trend is obvious and positive — the Times becomes less reliant on print revenues every quarter.
I noted back in November that the Times would pass $600 million in digital ad and circ revenue for 2018; the extra bump to $709 million came in large part from the Times’ “other” revenue category, which includes affiliate revenue (thanks, Wirecutter) and some digital licensing revenue. “Other” digital revenue added up to nearly $50 million in 2018.
A common goal in newspaper circles a few years ago was to someday be able to make enough money in digital to cover the cost of the newsroom. Well, at this point, the Times could pay for the newsroom two times over with just digital money. Which is probably why that newsroom keeps growing — the Times reported it now employs 1,600 journalists, an all-time high.
Meanwhile, the company reports having $826 million in cash on hand. Even accounting for the expected cost of buying back its building later this year, the Times has enough money that it could think about significant acquisitions if it saw value. Is there another Wirecutter out there that could fit with Times values and diversify revenue? Is there something in Europe that could drive a spike in subscriptions there? A podcast studio that could multiply The Daily’s success?
As I advised last time: “Take 98 percent of whatever energy you devote to worrying about the future of the Times and rechannel it into worrying about your local daily, which is very likely approaching existential crisis.”
CANADIAN JOURNALISM INNOVATORS lanza iniciativa para acelerar el crecimiento de los medios digitales
Canadian Journalism Innovators is a collaboration of media outlets focused on tackling three of the biggest challenges facing the journalism industry: a lack of money, innovation and diversity. At a time when the advertising model which long supported journalism is collapsing, this group of outlets is focused on building new audience-funded business models that support quality journalism. The Vancouver Foundation has made an initial investment in the initiative.
“The loss of 1,000 jobs this week is a huge blow. That’s why it’s particularly important to focus on what is working in the industry. While there will inevitably be more layoffs as the ad-based news model continues to collapse, there’s another story happening too,” says Erin Millar, founder and CEO of The Discourse, which is currently leading this collaborative effort.
The forming of Canadian Journalism Innovators follows a November 2018 convening of nine independent digital news media outlets focused on business model innovation. It was the first time these new digital outlets came together.
“When you consider how misinformation networks work together to push lies viral, it’s clear that news media need to collaborate,” says Maria Ressa, CEO of the news outlet Rappler, Time Person of the Year and a keynote speaker at Democracy XChange. Ressa is a supporter of Canadian Journalism Innovators.
After the in-person convening, The Discourse published The rise of audience-funded journalism in Canada, which includes recommendations for how to move Canada’s journalism industry forward. This research shows that audience-pay models are funding a significant portion of new outlets filling news gaps in Canada and around the world.
“Innovators in the online space can reach local readers starved for vital news about issues that impact them directly,” says San Grewal. In September, 2018, Grewal founded The Pointer, a subscription-based digital news platform that launched in Brampton and is focused on quality, data-driven journalism, including investigations. “It’s the best of both worlds: local news free from any outside influence and a platform that delivers to subscribers exactly what they want, without the clickbait and 24/7 Trump hysteria.”
The Vancouver Foundation’s multi-year funding through its Systems Change Test Grant represents the first investment in Canadian Journalism Innovators. Its support will fund business model innovation in two B.C. communities led by The Discourse, and will benefit the wider industry through collaborative research and development.
“Vancouver Foundation is a strong supporter of innovation that leads to healthy and vibrant communities,” says CEO Kevin McCort. “We see public service journalism – and the testing of new sustainable models to deliver it – as key to ensuring communities are informed by facts, engaged in diverse perspectives, and can act on their own interests.”
With the nine participating media outlets so far — The Narwhal, Taproot Edmonton, The Pointer, Indian and Cowboy, The Sprawl, Media Indigena, The Public Record, The Deep, The Discourse — and a growing number of supporters who believe in this work, Canadian Journalism Innovators’ goals are threefold: Mobilize funding to create sustainable business models for public service journalism; Accelerate innovation through collaborative research and development; Ensure women and people of colour are equitably represented among founders and leaders of new digital media. The ultimate mission of Canadian Journalism Innovators is to support the growth of a more sustainable and diverse media ecosystem in Canada.Those interested in participating in this project click here. If you’re interested in supporting this project you can click here to learn more, or visit the Canadian Journalism Innovators booth at DemocracyXChange this weekend.
Financial Times patrocina un nuevo website buscando captar nueva generación de empresarios europeos
FT innovations editor John Thornhill launched Sifted to reach a “generation of incredibly interesting entrepreneurs emerging all around Europe”, many of whom are “not hard-wired into reading the FT,” he told Press Gazette.
There were two reasons for this, the former FT deputy editor added. “One was because we didn’t write that much about the start-up world, and secondly because we had a paywall which was a deterrent to some of the people in that sector.
“So I wondered whether it was possible to create a new media site for that younger generation of readers which we were not capturing so much at the FT.”
The website launched on 31 January after several weeks of publishing a thrice-weekly newsletter to establish the tone and focus of the new project.
The newsletter will continue as a core part of Sifted, featuring a mixture of original content with links to the website, curation of external sources, and some newsletter-only news.
Sifted newsletter 31 January 2019
The FT holds a 25 per cent stake in Sifted, which is so named because the FT is at its heart and it “sifts” through information for its readers.
The project is also backed by several British, French, German, Greek and Swedish so-called angel investors with “strong interests in the growing European technology sector”, the FT has said.
Sifted is now in its second round of fundraising, meaning the overall ownership structure could change.
The website runs on a part subscription, part sponsorship model with the aim of keeping it free for its target audience of European entrepreneurs.
The FT has a licensing agreement with Sifted to ensure it meets the standard of “FT calibre news and analysis” because it carries the 131-year-old title’s branding next to its logo, declaring it as “backed by” the FT.
FT chief executive John Ridding told Thornhill that he would receive the newsband’s support if he could build a business model and attract outside investment.
They decided to launch Sifted as a separate website rather than a sub-section of the FT to embrace innovation and experimentation away from the traditional FT structure, matching the start-up culture that is its focus.
Taxi app Hailo founder Caspar Woolley is co-founder and chief executive of Sifted, while Thornhill is co-founder and editorial director. He also remains the FT’s innovations editor, writing a regular column for the newspaper and hosting its Tech Tonic podcast.
Ridding said: “We are really excited to be a founding shareholder of Sifted at a time of big change and opportunity in both media and technology.
“Sifted’s dynamic new reporting team are supported by an innovative strategy to deliver essential news and analysis for a thriving European tech community.”
Sifted will cover early-stage businesses in tech centres like London, Paris and Berlin but also smaller hubs like Minsk, Talin and Zurich.
Its core audience is the people who are setting up and running the 630,000 start-ups mainly in Europe, alongside investors, traditional FT readers from bigger companies, governments, regulators and academics.
“A lot of people have enormous interest in trying to understand what is happening in the start-up world around Europe,” Thornhill said.
But when looking as a reader for “trustworthy, accurate, timely information” about the broader European start-up market, Thornhill could only find US news organisations writing “in a very Silicon Valley way” or national media in individual countries.