6 Different Ways for Media Companies to Monetize Their Content
With the coming of the modern technology age, it has become imperative that companies adopt new techniques to stay ahead of their competitors. For media and publishing houses, it has become more difficult to monetize their content in a way that generates more revenue and gives them fewer pain areas. Although the “print vs Digital” debate still remains, if you have loyal customers that identify with your brand, then media companies can see this is as a chance to better engage with them. This not only leads to a rich digital experience but also opens up new avenues for companies to earn more revenue. Some of the most advanced ways in which the media companies can monetize their content are:
Content licensing and syndication
A “syndicate” means “a group of individuals combined to promote a common interest” but in the media industry, a syndicate means legally publishing someone else’s content, by first buying the rights from him for the content. The words “licensed content” and “syndicated content” are used interchangeably. Until the dawn of the Digital age, syndication was the major business model followed by many of the leading media and publishing houses. Syndication only works best when you have a loyal paying customers and who don’t deviate from the content published from your competitors. In another case where syndication works best is when the content is under strict access control, like that in movie theaters and OTT services offered by Hulu Plus, Netflix or Comcast.
Marketing loss model
Marketing Loss Leader strategy means selling your products below the cost of production, to attract customers to buy from you instead of your competitors. In the World of Media and publishing houses, the loss leader is an important strategy when a new product, feature or an upgraded version needs to be launched. This model helps in building traffic and to acquire more customers but is not be followed for a long time strategy and is definitely not for “cherry picking” customers.
Freemium model is when the companies, decide to give few of their services free and charge only for premium services. The major purpose of this type of model is to attract new customers by giving them a feel of the services the company has to offer. The major issue that comes with this type of model is that if you have loads of free subscribers, but you are unable to convert them to paid subscribers, then it means that you are offering to many services as free. If you are not able to generate traffic even for the free services, then you are not offering many services as free. So it basically improves over the period of time and you need to constantly monitor your services, traffic and competitors.
Pay Wall/Subscription based model
Most customers are willing to pay for the content as long as the process is simple and the content is of optimum quality. Much of the recent success against widespread media piracy can be attributed to the Paywall subscription method. But the thing about Paywall is it requires a lot of research and back-end IT support, only then you can get some positive results. A hard Paywall typically only displays an article title and a few introductory paragraphs before prompting readers to pay. The introduction of the Pay wall system results in a dramatic and immediate loss of the Digital audience, but over time it leads to a dedicated readership. For example, when The Times of London launched its Paywall distribution, it lost more than 90% of its digital audience, but now it’s generating more than $ 60 million a year from this system.
This is another very effective type of content monetization technique. The Metered access subscription type of platform has been pioneered by the Financial Times and later successfully adopted by many of the leading newspapers around the world. In the Metered Access subscription type of platform, it allows a certain number of free articles per month, after which the number of free articles are lowered and the users are asked to pay for the content. The main problem that many publishers face here is determining the right paid content threshold. Thus they have to address two core issues: how many stories to give away and what to charge afterwards. Generally, this is done through A/B testing over the course of several months.
Micro-transactions have become an integral part of many of the Media and publishing houses. These are small payments usually in the range of 1-5 US dollars. Micro-transactions are good where the publisher knows that the content he has published is good and just wants to give a sneak peak of the content. Many media houses have also used this subscription model for allowing consumers only for the content for which they want to view. So suppose if a consumer just wants to view one particular article in a leading newspaper then, he just needs to pay for that particular article and not for other content.
Media and Publishing companies need to understand that its high time they move from legacy print to the modern way of Digital content. This is the modern way of engaging with your consumers and if they don’t do it now, then it may so happen that they will also loose the loyal customers that they till now. Building a brand takes time, but falling from that point doesn’t take much time if companies fail to keep pace with their competitors. These monetizing models are proven and tested methods and will only help consumers to be more engaged.