WAN-IFRA World News Media Congress 2022: Pool side view | What’s New in Publishing

Madeleine White, Head of Content Marketing at Poool, the all-in-one membership and subscription suite, shares her findings on the top challenges for publishers in 2022 and how publishers are working to address them. solve.

The WAN-IFRA World News Media Conferences attract many publishing professionals from all over the world, and it’s easy to see why.

In the beautiful setting of Zaragoza (the venue for WNMC 22), experts shared insights into their strategies by day and networked with a glass of wine and tapas in hand by night.

This year, I had the pleasure of attending with Poool to dive deeper into the challenges facing digital publishers today and, most importantly, learn about some of the solutions already put into practice.

To sum up, here are 4 of the main challenges and examples of successful solutions used by digital publishers around the world:

🟠 The Attention Recession

All over the world, we are seeing a drop in engagement levels on news websites.

  • Online sessions are down 14% and 26% from the previous 2 years
  • Heavy users have decreased by ⅓ since the peak of the pandemic
  • 38% of news consumers actively avoid news

The Independent’s solution: Anonymous to Known Model (A2K)

Conversion of anonymous users into members via registration means 11x more engagement and increased propensity to subscribewhere engagement (and revenue) is even higher, according to data from The Independent.

Joe HoldawayChief Data & Marketing Officer at The Independent, said it has 11 sign-up sources, including app, e-commerce and a sign-up wall, a strategy that drives 80,000 sign-ups a month alone.

We now have 4 million registered users who show higher brand loyalty and dedication than anonymous visitors.

Jo Holdaway, Chief Data and Marketing Officer, The Independent

Ronnie J. Willis, a publishing consultant, tweeted that connecting with engaged readers — NOT at scale — is key. It’s no secret that a small number of highly engaged and loyal readers bring the most value to a publisher’s business…

Hector ArandaCEO of Clarin (the largest media conglomerate in Argentina), clearly demonstrated this: of their 28 million readers, only 0.5 million are subscribers. but this represents 70% of readers’ income.

🟠 Trust in information is a key concern

Ignatio Martinez de Albornoz from Henneo Media: “Lack of trust is what makes us weak as an industry.”

Rasmus Kleis Nielsen to Reuters: “There is a disconnect between what journalists think is important in terms of public trust and what readers think is important”…..”Key question: what will you do DIFFERENTLY to convince readers to do you trust”

So what are publishers doing to build trust?

At Henneo, a large Spanish publishing group, trust was built through trust-driven advertising campaigns, interviews with journalistsand documentaries on the functioning of the editorial staffusing openness to build closer relationships with readers.

For EFE in Spain, surveys have shown that readers associate paying for news with more trustworthy news, while free articles are associated with external influences and are less likely to be trustworthy. This has led EFE to invest in organizations such as EFVerifica to fight fake news and position the brand in a way that facilitates trust.

Joe HoldawayAfter an audience asked her about how The Independent is tackling reader trust, “Shape your value proposition to focus on trust, putting it at the forefront of who your brand is and what what you stand for.”

🟠 Sustainability and diversification

According Carlos Nunez MuriasExecutive Chairman, PRISA Media: there are 3 essentials for brands to build a sustainable editorial model:

  • A quality editorial product at the heart of everything
  • Digitization with the right tools and technology to increase online reader revenue
  • User experience and usability that is not sacrificed for the benefit of advertising

This has led to digital subscriptions becoming a key value driver for PRISA Media.

For others, like Clarin and EFE, the focus is on diversify sources of income

  • In-person and online events
  • Subscription and registration
  • New content formats such as podcasts
  • Additional brands such as EFE communica which supports B2B innovation

But Dean Roper, Director of Insights at WAN-IFRA, points out that advertising remains the main source of revenue for publishers: “Events, contract publishing, e-commerce, etc., are growing at 21.5%; income diversification in these areas is a key trend. Advertising, however, remains the biggest $$, >80% of some publishers’ revenue. »

🟠 How to create high-performance products?

Quality journalism is essential.

Lisa McLeodFT Strategies: Be aware of “the loop of fate” – saving money reduces your journalists producing the product you want to sell, and you can’t have a sustainable reader revenue strategy if you don’t have a product… “You can’t sell journalism from quality if this journalism does not exist…”

Alan Fisco to the Seattle Times: “If you empty your newsroom and produce lesser quality content, don’t worry about your retention strategy, because you will fail.”

…but don’t forget your audience.

Newsrooms have spent too much time thinking about how they produce content and not enough time thinking about how our audiences want to consume it.

Julia Beizer, Chief Digital Officer at Bloomberg Media

Kat Downs MulderThe Washington Post: “You can create a great product with a few resources, but you need to understand your audience’s needs, look at the competitive landscape, create a minimal and enjoyable product, and keep evolving and growing it.”

How did the Washington Post put this product thinking into practice?

Example from the Washington Post: The 7

Audience needs: users find articles too long, they don’t have enough time to consume everything but still want access to quality journalism.

The Washington Post Needs: Forming daily habits as a critical part of the customer journey to high engagement, subscription, and loyalty.

Solution: The 7, a daily newsletter sent at 7am, shorter than any competitor (only 3 minutes to read) mixing hard news and softer stories to “surprise and delight”.

Poool is the simple, all-in-one membership and subscription suite to help digital content producers convert, manage and retain their members and subscribers. Check out more of their content on WNIP or on their blog.

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