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New INMA report looks at content-to-commerce opportunities for publishers

22 October 2020

DALLAS (22 October 2020) — How pioneer publishers are launching content-to-commerce initiatives to create new sources of revenue growth is the focus of a new report launched today by the International News Media Association (INMA).

The report is free to INMA members and may be purchased by non-members. Click here to access the report.

“Content-to-Commerce Brings Revenue in Post-Advertising World” focuses on the case studies of five diverse news media companies from differing areas in the world:

  • Aftonbladet: The Swedish publisher has partnered with e-commerce platform Tipser to sell products while staying within the media company’s Web site. 
  • Dennis Publishing: Dennis is one of the top examples of how content-to-commerce works in the media industry. It sells cars it owns and has two affiliate marketing brands in the UK. It’s car brand brings in 30% of the company’s overall revenue. 
  • The New York Times: Wirecutter, a 9-year-old product review Web site, generates more revenue from affiliate commissions than traditional advertising. 
  • South China Morning Post: SCMP has two traditional content-to-commerce brands, but here we discuss SCMP Research, a literal content for commerce revenue strategy that has slowly grown over the past few years and debuted as a proper revenue strategy in July. 
  • Times Internet: The Times of India digital division makes direct sales of men’s products after acquiring MensXP in 2009. 

Non-media companies and magazines were early adapters of content-to-commerce, but news media companies fall perfectly within the skill set required: they have strong content and audiences that trust them.

“Content-to-Commerce Brings Revenue in Post-Advertising World” is an early look at how traditional news publishers are creating their content-to-commerce strategies, focusing on three basic models:

  • Affiliate models, sending customers to an outside link and earning the media company a percentage of the revenue. 
  • Attribution marketing, keeping track of the touchpoints from customer to purchase and putting a value on getting the consumer from point A to point B. 
  • Direct e-commerce, allowing the organisation to keep items on its own Web site and grow direct collaboration because the media company owns the product. This usually brings higher revenue streams and higher conversions. 

Keys to making this work are data, trust, and the ability to meet a need.

Author Dawn McMullan, senior editor at INMA, pulls from INMA Webinars, study tours, and conferences while adding in new initiatives from around the world.

“Content-to-commerce is one of the rising subjects of interest in news media as data, technology, and growing sophistication in understanding reader needs and motivations sweep the news industry,” said Earl J. Wilkinson, executive director and CEO of INMA. “As publishers aim for closer and more trusted relationships directly with readers, they are in a unique position to capitalise. Content-to-commerce is a fantastic opportunity.”

The International News Media Association (INMA) is a global community of market-leading news media companies reinventing how they engage audiences and grow revenue in a multi-platform environment. The INMA community consists of more than 15,000 members at 850 media companies in 73 countries. Celebrating its 90th anniversary, INMA is the news media industry’s foremost ideas-sharing network with members connected via conferences, reports, Webinars, virtual meetings, and an unparalleled archive of best practices.




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