World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers


Media Transformation

Media Transformation

The news media industry, like many other industries, is experiencing sweeping change and transformation. That can mean in the newsroom, in advertising, in production, in technology, but for transformation to truly succeed it needs to be all-encompassing. We will track down best-practice around the world. (Image source: FreeImages UK)

In the Blogs

Most publishers thriving in today’s “Digital Subscription Economy” will tell you: the most expensive enemy in this world is churn. That is from Cecilia Campbell, who researched and wrote WAN-IFRA’s just-published report, “Engaged Readers Don’t Churn: Retention Lessons for Digital Subscriptions...

“A media company can potentially have up to 12-15 revenue streams without moving away from its core,” says Raju Narisetti, Professor of Professional Practice and director of the Knight-Bagehot Fellowship in Economics and Business Journalism at Columbia University.

“Increasingly, a...

While newspaper paywalls remain relatively rare in Latin America, two papers there have achieved success with paid-content strategies: O Globo in Brazil and Clarín in Argentina.

In 2015, the Guardian had lost around 100 million pounds for the year, and despite having a huge readership, its future was looking bleak. Today, the company is rapidly approaching break-even, has broader reach than ever and has increased its endowment to more than 1 billion...

Between 2012 and 2017, the Spanish news publisher El País recorded 68 percent growth (EBITDA). Those five years marked a period of sweeping change throughout the organisation, from a new newsroom to expanded global operations as well as a significant increase in video.

Reader engagement is a key metric in measuring brand loyalty. At the FT, the newsroom and commercial teams are united in their appreciation of the power of metrics and the data behind them.  

"One of the most important pieces of our revenue strategy in respect to readers has been our site," says Miki Toliver King, Vice President of Marketing at The Washington Post. "We spend a lot of time focussed on 'What is it we are doing on our site to...

“We are obsessed with margins,” Andiara Petterle, SVP of Product Development and Operations for RBS, says of the company's determination to pursue only those revenue streams that bring good profit margins.

"Our challenge is: How do we get the best out of our 1,000 salespeople? How do we get 1,000 salespeople who can take 2 million businesses by the hand and navigate them on this difficult journey?" says Morgan Stevenson, Director of SME Solutions for Newsquest, one of the UK's...

Hotel chains old and new alike have taken the leap to focus on customer experience and continuous innovation. Will news publishers follow suit? A guest post by Nikolay Malyarov.

In year-end predictions, World Editors Forum board member, Lisa MacLeod, head of Digital at Tiso Blackstar, foretold of "dramatic policy decisions emanating from Planet Zuckerberg." When on Friday, Facebook announced major changes to its news feed affecting publishers worldwide, we decided...

A critical year looms ahead for Canada’s beleaguered newspaper industry, writes guest poster Marc Edge, a Canadian professor of mass media and author.

Guest poster Kevin Anderson says 2018 can be a good year for news organizations – if they wholeheartedly embrace the audience-focused era. He points to publishers who have used data to improve their editorial and commercial performance and have begun to reclaim their relationship with their...

“Nail an identity and focus on that,” says Paul Smurl, the man who designed and led the successful New York Times digital subscriptions strategy. Smurl left the NYT in 2015 to become COO and president of...

A digital surge just occurred: WAN-IFRA just published four reports that deal with an array of digital media-oriented topics and strategies, highlighting global best-practice, smart use of data, growth strategies, and ads in VR.

When the Alibaba Group announced its intention to buy the South China Morning Post (SCMP) in December 2015, the news immediately sparked concerns over the impact this new ownership could have on the state of freedom of...

In this two-part guest post, Colin Morrison draws lessons from the business plans of several publishing empires as they cope – more or less successfully – with market forces destroying their print profits.

Guest poster Steve Gray, in a farewell post, takes stock of the news publishing industry's situation and describes some strategies designed for future success.

“Since I joined the BBC as a graduate trainee 20 years ago, media disruption has eaten away at the traditional business models of circulation, advertising and distribution. News media’s primary focus is shifting from the ubiquitous ‘bolt on more’ strategy to a more holistic approach,” writes...

Digital disruption, declines in traditional revenue streams, and multi-front competition: the news media are struggling to survive and, instead of tending to the causes of the disease, many are shouting for a miracle cure or someone to save them from this valley-of-death. The truth is: it will...

“Our brands have never been so powerful and reached so many people, so brand extension is key to our development and to revenue growth,” Jean-Luc Breysse, Deputy CEO of France's Figaro Group, told participants in WAN-IFRA...

The results of WAN-IFRA’s annual survey depict an industry that is increasingly building loyal audiences around its high-quality journalism, as the shift to reader-based revenue continues.

Schibsted Media Group in Scandinavia is often held up as THE shining example of a legacy news media group that seems to have gotten this whole "transformation" thing down pat. We are looking closely behind the scenes at the Schibsted phenomenon for an upcoming report. Here is a brief glimpse at...

In Norway, news publisher Amedia is taking a complex, data-driven – and successful – approach to acquiring digital subscribers. Freelance writer Em Kuntze caught up with Amedia's EVP, Pål Nedregotten, in the wake of Digital...

Only a very few newspapers that focus purely on quality journalism will be able to survive on advertising alone. And let’s face it, your publication probably isn’t one of them. Publishers must develop a substantial revenue stream directly from their readers in order to have a...

Innovation knows no boundaries, and that has never been more evident than in this year’s World Digital Media Awards winners. More importantly, it reaffirms that publishers can glean best practice from all corners of the globe: Oman, South Africa, India, Mexico, Germany…

Data. Data. Data. Big data. Small data. Too much of it. Not enough of it. Making sense of it all – in terms of context, content, and business – has been a struggle for most publishers. Xavier van Leeuwe, director of data & marketing at NRC Media in the Netherlands, can attest to that. His...

Over the past few years I've been involved in a number of digital news change projects at the BBC, either related to workflow changes, reprioritisation of content creation, and I thought it would be helpful to share a few thoughts on how I approach what is...

The answer, says guest poster Steve Gray, is yes – with qualifications. Gray describes numerous lessons from his own experience as a news publishing executive and from attendance at a leading conference.

It might seem impertinent, but at a time when media companies are battered by powerful external forces – changes in consumer behaviour, competition, technologies, legislation and even post-Brexit economic blues – it’s perhaps not an unreasonable question: Can media executives really do anything...

While the Norwegian media cluster in Bergen is well underway to establishing a worldwide reputation as a successful innovation hub, its network is further strengthened by the construction of Media City Bergen - a physical office park to house its members, including TV...

“Within two weeks, the French newspaper Le Monde will run out of cash.” So began French media analyst Frederic Filloux’s Monday Note essay on June 10, 2010. The iconic daily practically had one foot in the...

For a few years now, The Globe and Mail in Canada has had November earmarked for its move into a new, five-floor building in Toronto. But innovation never sleeps and CEO Phillip Crawley couldn’t wait to launch The Globe's new Lab351 innovation lab in the dedicated roomy space of the new building...

Last year, the Financial Times launched a revolutionary new approach to measuring the effectiveness of an advertising campaign, a method they call CPH (cost-per-...

Fueled by technology and driven by millennials, the sharing economy has pioneered a new perception about the value of physical and digital goods from which few industries are immune, writes...

Germany's NOZ Medien serves as a beacon of inspiration for regional media companies. Its stated strategy involves sweeping transformation, aggressive diversification – both organically and through acquisition – ultimately building a sustainable business backed by paid content. The company is...

What we've tried to do is, rather than think, What are we going to put inside that box? we think, What is it the advertiser wants to achieve and how can we create the best user experience in our environment based on...

Uncertainty reigns today in digital news publishing and that was evident at Digital Media Europe in Vienna last week. But there was also some true moxy on display. With a little crowdsourcing, here are our takeaways from the event that drew 330 executives from 35 countries.

It’s easy to let cynicism creep into the most upbeat of media minds residing within the intensely competitive newspaper and news media landscape that is London today. Kevin Beatty, CEO of dmg media, publishers of the Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday, MailOnline, Mail Plus, Metro and Elite Daily, will...

In recent years, Asia has appeared among the bright spots of the world's newspaper industry in terms of traditional, print-based growth, and the view of many in the West might well be that news publishers there aren't yet facing the same challenges that they are. Nothing could be further...

How many news media companies today can say that nearly two-thirds of their overall revenues come from online activities?

What are the metrics or qualities to track whether a news publisher is on the right track in transforming their business today to a more sustainable future? That is the question we posed to a number of media analysts and consultants who do this for a living.

The coming months are likely going to be at least as active and intense as any of the past year, but most likely they are going to be even more overpowering for those in the media business.

Deseret in the US is often lauded as the darling of digital transformation. Driving much of that change has been Chris Lee, President of Deseret Digital Media, the separate business set up more than five years ago as part of the company’s dual transformation strategy.

The Wall Street Journal has just unveiled a redesigned WSJ.com - the first overhaul since 2008. It may be a case of...

Three years ago, one U.S. newspaper chain quietly leaped into what it now calls a “Digital Leads” future. The goal: Transform print newsrooms into real-time digital news operations engaged with community at every turn. In this article, Vikki Porter, Director of the Knight Digital Media...

In the January 2014 issue of World News Publishing Focus, we interviewed Eugen Russ, managing director of Austria-based Russmedia, for our cover...

In just a few years, Sanoma’s Mobile Development Centre in Budapest has evolved into a centre of excellence for the creation and development of media applications, launching hundreds of apps for the group and its clients in a wide range of industries.

The biggest consideration in print media right now is still how to make digital work for publications. Lisa MacLeod successfully took the Financial Times through this process. She speaks to Peta Krost Maunder about the little steps towards...

Arthur O. Sulzberger, Jr., chairman of the New York Times, said the company has implemented all of the recommendations outlined in its...

Three legacy media publishers took the stage at the World News Media Congress in Washington, D.C., Monday to discuss how their companies have managed to grow as they have faced...

"As is common for technology companies, the 'beta' concept has permeated our work initiatives," says Marta Gleich, Executive Editor of Zero...