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Facebook, Snapchat changing face of digital distribution

19 April 2016 · By Kevin Curnock

In prehistoric times, newspaper publishers had two distribution options: home delivery and single copy. In the ‘90s, you might have added bulk to pump up your paid circulation: Print the papers, bundle them, and put them on trucks. That’s what distribution consisted of.

Now, when news media companies talk about distribution, they are usually talking about digital. Do you publish your content behind a paywall or a pay meter, or do you make it open to the world? Do you distribute via Facebook? Twitter? Instagram? LinkedIn?

In the last year, these distribution questions have become even more complicated.

Facebook Instant Articles

If you are on Facebook (admit it, you are), then you’ve likely seen Instant Articles in your news feed. “Instant” allows readers to open articles lickety-split. These stories are identified by a tiny lightning bolt in the top right corner of the graphic.

Instant Articles on Facebook load fast, but readers don't ever reach your Web site.

Whereas publishers used to fret whether to offer a link to their articles for free on Facebook, the question becomes even more pointed with Instant. If you publish via Instant, your articles will load instantly, but your readers will not visit your Web ...


Study finds print is platform of choice, but cross-platform usage continues to grow

03 April 2016 · By Sara Hill and Rahul Sethi

In the fall of 2014, Canada’s newspaper and magazine measurement bodies, NADbank and PMB, merged to form Vividata. Vividata replaced separate magazine and newspaper surveys with a single source study providing a significantly larger sample, more frequent and timely data releases, and measurement of all newspapers and magazines’ print and digital products. 

To date, Vividata has released nine months of 2015 fieldwork and the results reflect the influence of technology we live with today.

Results: Audiences are changing

Marshall McLuhan, the great Canadian communications theorist, once said, “We shape our tools, and, thereafter, our tools shape us.” Among many other things, this statement is evident in how newspaper and magazine readership is changing.

People are still reading, but the way they read is changing. In the new technology landscape, readership of both newspaper and magazine brands has remained strong, with overall brand reach remaining relatively ...


Media industry can’t continue to build it, hoping audiences, revenue will come

20 March 2016 · By Maria Terrell

Being somewhat of a veteran in this industry (15+ years), I’ve finally had it. To be fair, we’ve been misguided by the movie biz. “Build it and people will come,” said James Earl Jones in Field of Dreams.

This was in reference to a baseball field in the middle of a corn field in Iowa. Sounds like a totally viable and well thought out business plan, right?

The media industry can't just throw down bases and benches and hope someone shows up to play.

Sadly, it is precisely this “build it and people will come” (hence forth known as “BIAPWC” for the purposes of this blog) mentality that has been a big part of the downfall of the news media industry, specifically print.

Here’s what I mean …

When newspapers needed more revenues, special sections were the solution. More print. That’ll solve ...


What news media companies can learn about transformation from ski resorts

03 March 2016 · By Kathleen Coleman

Those who love to improve their minds don’t necessarily need marketing enticements and product improvements to continue reading a newspaper.

Those who love to click into skis and boards don’t necessarily need marketing and mountain or service improvements to continue pursuing their sports.

Ahhh, but human beings are human beings, after all, and everyone needs a nudge or reminder now and again to get re-energised about something we’ve always loved, no?

Take skiing areas. Back in the day, one had to tromp, sweaty and troll-like, from lower parking lots to the main lodge in ski boots, toting skis and boards. Think of Oompa Loompas (without the orange skin) trudging in a staggered line, posture hunched from lugging skis and poles on their shoulders.

Ski areas have upped the ante with better customer service and appeal beyond the mountain.

Resorts got wise to this and dolled up skier-toting commuter vans with ...


How New York Times is beating Twitter, LinkedIn in the audience race

21 February 2016 · By Kevin Curnock

Over a one week period in early February, The New York Times, Twitter, and LinkedIn released their latest financial results.

They were perhaps surprising to some: The staid old newspaper publisher surpassed Wall Street expectations while the two purely digital companies disappointed.

What’s driving investor sentiment?

Scratching below the surface, you’ll see that it’s all about audience.

New York Times

The Old Grey Lady gave a promising update on February 4 when it released its Q4 and 2015 annual results.

From an audience perspective, the news media company is doing the right things. It grew its paying digital subscriber base by 53,000 readers. That’s the biggest quarterly gain in three years. It brings total NYT paid digital subscribership to just shy of 1.1 million. More than 50% of the newspaper’s revenue comes from ...


4 best practices for choosing metrics tools, dashboards

07 February 2016 · By Nicki Purcell

Members of my team get pitches almost every day from vendors who are convinced we cannot last another minute without their dashboard. They send glossy e-mails and screenshots with dazzling, colourful charts and graphs that promise real-time data that no one else offers, and insights that will drive decision-making.

Sound familiar?

Dashboards are all the rage. Some are stand-alone tools. Some are the keystone of a new analytics or social-listening tool, such as Sysomos Heartbeat,, or Chartbeat. Some are baked into other tools you use, like a social CMS, such as Hootsuite or Social News Desk.

News media have plentiful choices when it comes to choosing a dashboard.

Inevitably, when you put your shiny new tool in the hands of members of your team, they will find all the flaws and reinforce a simple truth: No single dashboard can help your team do ...


If your media company isn’t tracking data, it isn’t optimising data

04 February 2016 · By Jim Fleigner

Media companies who fail to close the data optimisation loop are leaving the job undone.Much has been written about the importance of Big Data and how it can be used to impact and optimise strategy.

Vast troves of data can be parsed and analysed to uncover new opportunities previously buried within the data.

Once completed, these opportunities can be coalesced and integrated into a strategy plan that quantifies the optimal level and allocation of acquisition and retention investment dollars, and translates them into an annual budget and predicted return in circulation, top-line revenue, and ...


New audience measurement helps publishers capture multi-platform data

28 January 2016 · By Sara Hill

Vividata provides single-source print and digital audience metrics for Canadian magazines and newspapers. In the fall of 2014, Canada’s newspaper and magazine measurement bodies merged to form the amalgamated organisation of NADbank and PMB.

Close to a year later, the first results of the new readership research were released under the organisation’s new branding, Vividata.

The need: Amalgamation and a new study

For the last century, magazines and newspapers have been defined as printed periodicals. Over the past two decades, print media has adapted to changes in consumer behaviour by moving beyond print-only formats.

However, audience measurement in Canada continued to be based primarily on ...


“Me” generation requires news media companies to rethink content delivery

17 January 2016 · By Maria Terrell

It’s the “me” generation. We’ve read multiple blog postings to that effect (for example, here, here, and here). It seems like every generation that comes after yours is more selfish. How many times have our parents said, “Back in my day … ?” 

Well, the truth is, the cycle repeats itself. In reality, we’re all adapting to the options, economy, and technology that are available for our reality. To that end, every generation was the “me” generation and every generation will be the “me” generation.

The difference is how technology solves their problems and the options they have for their lives.

It appears that the pay-per-article platform Blendle is going to launch in the United States. People are confused by Blendle a bit and asking, “Who would pay a nominal amount on a ...


How Toronto Star is bringing in new revenue through NIE (yes, NIE)

14 January 2016 · By Nadine Chevolleau

A year ago, I wrote a blog post for INMA about whether a regional news media company could have a national reach.

To refresh your memory, the answer was yes. I shared the results of a national school campaign we ran through our Newspapers in Education programme, which included promoting a Toronto Star-branded education resource to teachers. I told you about the positive response we had from schools across Canada that opted in to receive copies of this programme for their students.

The reason we wanted to know whether teachers outside our market would participate in our programme was to determine if we could actually deliver national exposure for corporate sponsors through NIE custom content campaigns. This test proved that we could, in fact, deliver.

Great! So what?

Having an engaged audience is great. But we knew from past experience that to make these initiatives profitable, we had to go the corporate sponsorship route and not rely on educators to fund these programmes.

We put together a sponsorship package that offered a lot of brand exposure to advertisers, while respecting that the content we produced was being distributed to schools and would be used by ...


About this blog

The Satisfying Audiences Blog aims to reflect print and digital content not just across platforms but extending into consumer events, non-news-related subscriptions and other audience vehicles for newsmedia companies. This blog written by INMA members is dedicated to identifying the emerging linkages between content, audiences, and platforms. The blog is an initiative by the INMA North America Division Board of Directors.

Meet the bloggers

Julie Anderson
Senior Vice President of Digital Publishing/Florida
Tribune Publishing
Orlando, Floria, USA
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Nadine Chevolleau
Consumer Marketing
The Toronto Star
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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Kathleen Coleman
Sales & Marketing
S-R Media
Spokane, Washington, USA
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Kevin Curnock
General Manager
Brunswick News
St. John, New Brunswick, Canada
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Jim Fleigner
Managing Partner
Impact Consultancy
Santa Monica, California, United States
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Sara Hill
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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Dan Johnson
Vice President,
Business Development
Gilbert, Arizona, USA
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Sandy MacLeod
Chief Operating Officer, Print
The Toronto Star/Metro English
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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John Newby
The Times
Ottawa, Illinois, USA
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Nicki Purcell
Chief Digital Officer and Senior Vice President of Consumer Sales
The Dallas Morning News
Dallas, Texas, USA
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Maria Terrell
Director of Content
Dallas, Texas, USA
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New York City, New York, USA


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April 2016 ( 2 )
March 2016 ( 2 )
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January 2016 ( 3 )
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