Monday, November 2, 2009

Delicious Today: 2 Business Models for Journalism

I did some research over the summer on journalism business models for CPB. There seem to be five major revenue sources: pay wall, syndication, ads, product subsidy, and membership. Today I came across two successful examples: GlobalPost with its ads-syndication-membership combination model, and Washington Post with its product subsidy model.

#1: GlobalPost generating revenue of $1 million in first year
"GlobalPost’s current revenue streams are advertising (sold exclusively in-house), syndication (with partners like CBS and the New York Daily News), and its subscription Passport service."
Profiled by the New York Times, GlobalPost is a for-profit online news organization launched in January this year. It has more than 65 correspondents in nearly 50 countries. Its co-founder Charlie Sennott calls the organization "a lifeboat" for serious international news reporting. I'm a bit surprised but glad to see that it's doing so well financially in the first year.

What public broadcasting can learn most from GlobalPost's business model is syndication. We've been putting a lot of effort in underwriting and membership drive, but not enough in syndication.

#2: Washington Post Co. Quarterly Profit Up 69%
The Washington Post company owns Newsweek magazine, Kaplan education services and television properties along with its namesake newspaper. Its print and web publication are losing money, so journalism operation in the company is subsidized by its Kaplan and cable divisions.

What products can public broadcasting use to help pay for its journalism operation?

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