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Monetizing print + digital in a media world divided




The world is divided into two media groups, according to INMA president Ravi Dhariwal:

  • News companies that put digital first.
  • News companies that put print first.

This formula is outdated, Dhariwal said, and media organisations need to find a way to make print and digital work together.

“Print is growing in half of the world and probably declining in the other,” said Dhariwal, CEO of Bennett Coleman & Co. Ltd (The Times of India). “It’s really a tale of two worlds.”

The focus of INMA is aggregating the best practices from peers worldwide and connecting companies with relevant information outside of traditional publishing, he said. The industry, he continued, is moving through a funnel into bridging the gap between print and digital.

“Overall, it’s really how does our industry move at a faster rate in this funnel,” Dhariwal said. “That’s what INMA is all about.”

Yasmin Namini, vice president of INMA, went further in explaining what the theme of the congress means.

“Monetising the new print+digital ecosystem” is about moving the industry through the multi-media funnel and finding new ways to create revenue to fund quality journalism, she said.

“INMA has brought the world of innovation together on one stage in the world’s media capital,” said Namini, senior vice president/chief consumer officer at The New York Times. “So take advantage of the moment.”

Earl Wilkinson, CEO/executive director of INMA, echoed this theme, but suggested that this movement and transition is at a critical moment and should move faster.

“I would suggest to you that one of the keys to going faster is get out of the do-it-yourself mode,” Wilkinson said.

Wilkinson set the stage for the moderator of the World Congress, Juan Señor, a U.K.-based media expert and visiting fellow at Oxford University.

Señor stressed that speed is one of the keys to the transition from print to digital. He added that almost 40% of INMA members think the transition from print to digital needs to happen in the immediate future.

However, Señor warned that print is not on its deathbed and should be an important facet of the news brand.

“Ignore print at your own risk,” Señor said.

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