A few years ago I truly believed that printed press would never ‘die’. Now I have changed my mind. When I look at the past 3 years, I already see a massive change. Three years ago, no one had a smartphone. Now everyone has. The iPads have been emerged massively. Practically every family has at least one tablet or smartphone at home. Basically everyone has access to ‘free news’. When you’ve got Wi-Fi, you’ve got news. Previously you had to go to the magazine shop and buy a newspaper when you wanted to read the news and you paid about 1-2 euros.
We’re getting used to the idea of free news and I think that the next generations won’t pay those 1-2 euros anymore. The newspapers really have to invest in their digital strategy. That’s what the following article is about. Media consultant Peter Kreisky says that only those magazines who have a digital-first strategy will ‘survive’. He gives us six lessons from digital-first magazine leaders, such as Atlantic Media and the Economist.
1. Organise around markets, not products
Thanks to the internet, the publishers know who is reading what. Newspapers did the same thing, but not that exact. The newspapers make exactly what their readers want. That benefits for the commercial side of the business. Advertisers know where to put what ads.
2. Print roles ≠ digital roles
Digital business is growth in the future. That increase is funded by the cash flow from printed business. They have to be separated.
3. Create branded business across platforms
The magazine brand isn’t only paper anymore. Publishers are launching new digital editions for smartphones and tablets.
4. Monetise communities
Social media is driving connections between communities. Create a focused community for like-minded people.
5. Invent the future
Invest in the future by restructuring your own business. Invest in adaptions of your news, for example new apps.
6. New organisation and culture model
Kreisky encouraged publishers to keep their business tight and custom made but with cross platforms roles.
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Printed media has to go online to survive. Eventually all the newspapers and magazines will only appear online. But before that will happen, publishers will have to make sure that their digital model is perfect. That is going to be a long road. They will make mistakes and some things won’t work. But in the end, in a few years, digital journalism will thrive.