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Hindu Group engages youth, educators with subscription learning portal

04 May 2016 · By Chari Vijayaraghavan

Young World Club, a fun-filled, interactive education portal, was launched recently by The Hindu Group, a leading media house in India. 

The Young World Club digital space provides a platform for offering young audiences visual and interactive experiences, without being bound by geography. After a one-month free trial, subscribers are offered a variety of paid options to suit their needs.

The portal is an extension of The Hindu Group’s popular print publications The Hindu Young World and The Hindu in School, which cater to junior and senior students and reach about 500,000 subscribers.

Young World Club caters to different student groups with content organised in age segments and tiered subscription pricing. The online portal extends the reach of a print publication of the same name, targeting students during the school day and at home.

Children today are exposed to diverse social and cultural elements from around the ...


Events at Independent Media transition from marketing to revenue builder

03 May 2016 · By Mark Toner

For South Africa’s Independent Media, a highly successful high school quiz competition has grown from a marketing venture to a considerable source of revenue. Its initial success in the events space has also opened the door for other, larger-scale ventures with public institutions. 

“What started as a humble marketing initiative — ‘Let’s get youth into the newspaper’ — developed into a highly monetised venture,” says Sandy Naude, group executive for direct advertising and community newspapers. “Where we see opportunities to grow revenue is events.” 

The Cape Argus School Quiz began in 2008 as a fairly typical youth marketing programme — with 19 secondary schools participating and sponsors lined up to purchase newspapers for students to study in preparation for the competition. 

Over the years, more schools and students signed up to participate — 148 teams from 52 schools in 2015. Larger sponsors, including a supermarket chain and insurance company, underwrote the ...


Washington Post focuses on revenue, audience opportunities of vertical video

02 May 2016 · By Micah Gelman

It may have started with Apple’s FaceTime, or perhaps it was Google Hangouts. Sometime between the introduction of the video-enabled smartphone and the arrival of Snapchat, the world shifted from a century-long tradition of horizontal moving pictures (first the movie screen, then television) to today’s gold rush into vertical video.

Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t hung my television sideways in the living room (yet), but I do shoot and consume a great deal of vertical video on my iPhone.

And The Washington Post, along with countless other publishers, is moving headlong into vertical video as a new format and ...


Helsingin Sanomat markets its data storytelling tools for native advertising use

27 April 2016 · By Pietari Korhonen

As a part of the digital development of Helsingin Sanomat, the largest subscription newspaper in Finland, we’ve been exploring new digital storytelling methods.

These efforts are led by seasoned journalists who are rethinking the traditional, one-way communication model of newspapers — distributing pieces for a passive reader — in favour of a modern digital environment.

One of our most innovative initiatives is creating a set of “data journalism” tools and templates, which our journalists can use to quickly produce unique storytelling visualisations, such as charts and graphs, interactive timelines, or maps.

These unique pieces of content add value for readers, and enhance online storytelling by allowing us to represent rich, complex data in effective, entertaining ways.

After our journalists used these tools for a few years, we realised they might also be used commercially. Like many newspaper companies, we still draw certain lines between journalistic content and commercially created content, so it took us awhile to ...


A.H. Belo’s new company proves value of print ads with performance-based pricing

26 April 2016 · By Richard Jones

Proven Performance Media (PPM), owned by A.H. Belo Corporation, is driving significant revenue (seven figures) in new business for our publishing partners, leading with newspaper print ads. Yes, PRINT ads!

We do this by leveraging data insights, pay-per-action pricing models, and cross-platform campaigns to maximise advertiser performance. And it all started six years ago with a customer challenge.

The challenge is all too familiar to those of us in the newspaper industry: You have a meeting with your client to discuss their business. The client says: “We aren’t sure print is working. We are considering moving all of our print dollars to digital through our digital agency.” Translation: The small amount of digital dollars going to you are about to get reduced even further.

Recently when an important client said they were canceling their print because they didn’t know if it worked, The Dallas Morning News asked the question: “If we can prove it works, will you pay us on the sales we generate?” The client agreed, and it was the start of ...


NavBharat Times engages readers with citizen journalism via WhatsApp platform

25 April 2016 · By Kaustav Chatterjee

NavBharat Times (NBT), a leading Hindu daily that is part of the Times Group, created Hello! NBT Reporter — a platform through which people can send newsworthy items related to civic issues using a dedicated WhatsApp number. After the news story is verified, it is published in a citizen reporter column.

NavBharat Times' Hello! NBT Reporter asks for timely news from citizen journalists who submit hundreds of stories daily.

The goal behind the initiative was to increase two-way communication between readers and our brand. Today’s consumers are not limited to merely receiving information from brands. Instead, they actively engage in dialogue, discussions, and debates on popular social media platforms.

These participative consumers create a network of micro-reports on social sites, such as ...


Retail, event business open revenue streams for Singapore Press Holdings

24 April 2016 · By Mark Toner

Singapore’s Orchard Road is a 2.2-kilometer iconic boulevard flanked by shopping malls, restaurants, and hotels. It is a shopper’s haven, much like Fifth Avenue in New York. And Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) is at the centre of the bustling prime retail belt, with its real estate holdings generating considerable — and consistent — income for the media organisation. 

With premium brands like Gucci, Ferragamo, and TODS in its Paragon Mall on Orchard Road and two other shopping centres, Singapore Press Holdings receives steady recurring income from its property business.

Investing in a local mall brought in S$230 million in revenue to SPH in 2015.

With the opening of the latest retail mall late last year, the property business contributed more than S$230 million in revenue to the group in the latest financial ...


Washington Post finds unexpected revenue stream with content management system

21 April 2016 · By Mark Toner

When The Washington Post first began looking at replacing its legacy content management systems a few years ago, executives didn’t plan to market the tools they developed to other media companies.

But by following a slow and deliberate strategy, the Post is now entering what it believes could ultimately become a US$100 million technology services marketplace that includes organisations well beyond the media sector.

When he came to the Post, CIO and Vice President of Technology Shailesh Prakash was confronted by legacy systems supported by multiple vendors and a newsroom with a single request: “They just want things to work.” 

The Jeff Bezos-owned Washington Post was evolving into what Prakash calls “a technology company mindset” — one in which a company, like Bezos’ own Amazon, is much more likely to build than buy its technology solutions. 

“If you compare a technology company to a non-technology company, you will find some common traits,” Prakash says. “One is an appetite to build — you don’t run off and immediately find ...


Dainik Bhaskar engages audience with print campaign to aid drought-stricken farmers

20 April 2016 · By Vikas Singh

In the summer of 2015, the Marathwada region of the Indian state of Maharashtra was reeling under the worst drought in recent years.

As much as 84% of Marathwada region is rain fed, with the region normally receiving around 780 millimeters of rainfall during monsoons. But in June 2015, rainfall was only 259 millimeters, and water storage in the state’s dam had hit a three-year low. This was the third successive drought in three years, resulting in massive crop failure.

The entire region was in the news for all the wrong reasons: poverty, crop failure, and mounting debts, leading many farmers to commit suicide.

With an objective to extend help to drought-affected farmers and their families, Dainik Bhaskar initiated Annadaan — a food grain donation campaign — across 36 cities in 10 states from ...


How media companies should compete, collaborate with social platforms

19 April 2016 · By Grzegorz Piechota

Editors note: Harvard Nieman Fellow and INMA Board Member Grzegorz Piechota is working on an in-depth report for INMA on distributed content. As part of that report, which will be released later this month, Piechota interviewed Sangeet Paul Choudary, CEO of Platform Strategy Labs, co-chair of Platform Strategy Summit at MIT Media Labs, author of Platform Scale and Platform Revolution. Here is an excerpt from that interview:

Piechota: How do you think the rise of platforms changed the competition in the digital content market? 

Choudary: Platforms change rules of the game in many industries like transportation or hospitality, but the most prevalent and painful are changes in the media. Media industry thrived on ownership of scarce resources. Basically, its business model worked like a pipe: the value has been ...


About this blog

The Ideas Blog captures the practical discussions and case studies of news media company to grow revenue, audience, and brand. These case studies are written by INMA members for INMA members. Begun in December 2012, this content previously resided in Ideas Magazine; for an archive of past case studies, click here.

Blog editor

Dawn McMullan is the editor of the Ideas Blog and senior editor for INMA. If you are an INMA member and would like to contribute a case study, please contact Dawn directly by clicking here.


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