Digital Replica Revenue Growth to Future Proof Local Journalism
2024 Finalist

Digital Replica Revenue Growth to Future Proof Local Journalism

The Dallas Morning News

United States

Category Advertising Sales and Retention

Media associated with this campaign

Overview of this campaign

The ultimate purpose of this epaper initiative was to double our 2022 digital display ad derived revenue by introducing "print-like" advertising options that connected our digital subscribers and traditional print advertisers. The focus was on leveraging creatives with higher CPMs to efficiently monetize the epaper audience while minimizing ad disruptions. The shift towards a native experience, resembling historical print ads and placements, was intentional to achieve increased revenue without compromising the screen real estate dedicated to news content. 


Approach and tracking success - To do so, we implemented a marketing funnel strategy by introducing various advertising products throughout 2023, using a drip cadence where we tracked the revenue through AdBase and Quicksight. At each turn, we also wanted to allow time for reader feedback and approval. 


The lift - The effort required to launch each product varied, but the cumulative effort for our dev team was under 100 hours for the year for all of products that we launched in 2023. The ongoing scheduling and trafficking of these advertising assets takes approximately an hour per day from our campaign management team.


The rollout - We priced these with their historic print rate as the benchmark, but took into account the efficiency of not needing to print and deliver a physical paper. With that in mind, we staggered the implementation dates to allow reader feedback - which we expected to be light, but found that these additions created ZERO subscriber complaints.


The result - The Dallas Morning News surpassed our goal of doubling our epaper advertising revenue from 2022 and achieved remarkable revenue growth of 347% with our initiative to make the digital replica, ePaper, a viable standalone revenue stream well into the future. The strategic shift from traditional digital display ads to creating more "print-like" advertising opportunities reflects a thoughtful approach to maximizing ROI and minimizing the revenue impact the eventual transition to a digital-only future likely entails.


Results for this campaign

Achieving a 347% growth was an outstanding accomplishment and a testament to the effectiveness of our strategies. To build an incremental half million US dollars of operating income in its first year, bodes well for 2024.

Entering this year with the full slate of all the products we launched across 2023 available from January 1st, will lead to another year of strong revenue growth. We feel optimistic we can double the Operating income impact we were able to achieve last year. The revenue’s growth trajectory has positioned us well for continued success in 2024 and beyond and is a clear indication that the efforts put into product development and innovation will continue to pay sizable dividends well into the future.

We plan to continue to focus on strategic initiatives, which means further product enhancements, expanding market reach, exploring new opportunities, and maintaining momentum. We see these all being crucial to ensuring continued growth and success in the coming years.


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