Any new revenue port in a storm


Life used to be so predictable.

You’d wake up with the newspaper at your front door. You’d peruse the headlines and stories from both near and far.

If there was time, you’d catch up on the sports scores from the late games. The top right corner of the front page provided a snapshot of the day’s weather and let you know if a coat or umbrella was needed.

On your way to work, you knew the day’s revenue would come from one of two source: advertisers or audiences.

While the changes ahead will dwarf the change of the past five years at an accelerating rate, today’s and tomorrow’s revenue still will come from one of two sources: advertisers or audiences.

World news media leaders convene April 28-30 in New York for INMA’s World Congress, “Monetizing the New Print + Digital Ecosystem,” to share and discuss the rapid development of the next wave of alternative revenue models in a landscape ruled by disruption and ravaged by economic storm.

An industry that once worried about “cannibalisation” will come together to recognise and honour those with the capability and fortitude to rapidly create, mutate, and then consume their own young in the fast-changing pursuit of audience, revenue, and profit.

At stake is our ability to organise our assets to provide relevance to audiences and measurable results to advertisers, while delivering a profit that can sustain our ability to change even more and even faster.

So much of our success depends on our ability to change our perspective about who we are in relation to what advertisers and audiences really want. The lines between print, broadcast, and digital have blurred. New revenue opportunities now include video, second-wave mobile, and sponsored content.

The proliferation of information and advertising delivery platforms tailored to audience time, space, and behaviour will undergo even more dramatic changes over the next 48 months. Whether a “Dick Tracy” digital arm band or a pair of Google glasses, we can only be sure that how we deliver and audiences consume content and advertising will be different in the future.

As audience behaviour changes, advertisers will continue to shift their attention and budgets in fast pursuit of smaller and smarter audiences. The transition from mass to niche to micro audience delivery will continue to shine a spotlight on both those capable and incapable of transformation and reinvention.

Many believe success can only be achieved through a cavalcade of new revenue sources with limited life spans, mutating with each innovation or technological advance.

While some things in life — and business — are less predictable, it is clear the journey to success for many news-media companies will begin or continue, with a sense of urgency, in April at the INMA World Congress in New York.

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