A challenge for 2016 is figuring out how to bring in revenue from different places since more and more people are using ad-blockers.
We all know how annoying ads can be, but do people really know the cost of what blocking them does? This especially rings true for those working in the media, who make most of their money from ad revenue. In an article from Newsweek, the Global Web Index says that 40% of global Internet users have installed ad-blocker software, which is up from 28% just in mid-2015. This is expected to rise even more. This has caused sites to block or ban users that use ad-blocking software from even entering their sites, such as Bild in Germany.
In an article from Fast Company, Mizell Stewart thinks more revenue could be generated from membership programs. “Wouldn’t it be great to order and pay for a night out after perusing the online movie listings?” Mizell said. Such bundles could package together a variety of services and benefits, which would drive subscriber revenue and bring more people in. A lot of newspapers and magazines are already doing this. The New York Times offers a cheaper subscription for students, while still getting access to all of their content, and Vogue subscribers get both print and digital copies of the magazine, access to the complete archive and special issues highlighting events such as the Met Gala.
Since ads are the top generator of revenue for news sites, we need to start thinking about other sources of revenue. The membership programs are a good start, and most news sites could easily get into this. But it will still probably be some time before places starting adopting these services.
Some examples right now that aren’t necessarily for paid subscribers only, are news services that have mobile/tablet apps. You can always have your news on the go and stay in the loop to anything that may happen during the day, but you can also pick up a traditional paper copy at any store. Another similar example would be that The New York Times, as well as other newspapers, only allows you ten free articles to read per month. This could drive more people to pay per week if they really like the publication.
Something that could be a potential in the future is having organizations with many newspapers or magazines offering bundle services for either all of the magazines/newspapers they own, or specific ones they want. The prices could be discounted and could be a better deal than just subscribing to each magazine/newspaper individually. I would like to see this happen because there a lot of magazines and newspapers I read that could easily be bundled, thus saving me, and the public, more money.