Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Delicious Today: membership model

#1: Can Memberships, Clubs, Cruises Keep Media Companies Afloat?
"These new memberships and clubs, which focus on offering services to readers that are largely different than a pay wall, are a byproduct of declining advertising revenues. As a result of that lost income, news organizations are looking at new ways of generating revenue from readers. ... One example of a successful membership model is in place at Minnesota Public Radio."
#2: O’Reilly may be an idiot, but his team gets membership concept
"There are 16 benefits to being an O’Reilly Premium Member. Some are comical. ... The O’Reilly Premium Membership isn’t especially innovative, in that some Hollywood stars, other celebrities (and especially porn stars), and athletes do the same sort of thing. ... as the news industry ponders news membership models, creating Premium memberships that get you more from a favorite star journalist and access to the person could be worth paying for. ... My gut reaction is that individual premium memberships might be an easier sell than a similar membership for an entire news brand."
It seems that the membership concept is catching up in commercial news organizations. Even though public broadcasting has been using it for years, we still need to fine tune it to make it more effective and recession-resistant. As a producer for Wisconsin Public Radio's Here on Earth program, I've been involved in many pledge drives and seen many hits and misses. At this point, deciding what premium works and what doesn't is still more of a hunch than a science. I wish there is an exact and reliable recipe we can follow.

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