World Association of News Publishers

Alternative Revenue Streams - A New Report From WAN-IFRA

Alternative Revenue Streams - A New Report From WAN-IFRA

Paris, Frankfurt – 2016-04-11

Alternative revenue streams: those three magic words spell out the holy grail of newspaper publishing the world over. That is why WAN-IFRA has published a new report, Alternative Revenues Streams for Publishers, on that very topic, showcasing some of the efforts taking place today around the world.

“It is crucial today for news publishers to explore additional avenues of revenue, in order to ensure their future sustainability,” said Vincent Peyrègne, CEO of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA).

“This report shows excellent cases of how both small- to medium-sized and large publishers are opening new revenue streams by leveraging their core business – and in some cases going beyond their core business,” Peyrègne said. “It reveals both successes and failures, what makes sense, where and when – all vital to a publisher's overall diversification strategy.”

The urgency to identify and exploit new revenue streams, and re-examine existing but under-used ones, has intensified as the traditional business model becomes increasingly strained, while digital revenues grow too slowly.

“We’re working hard to grow digital advertising revenues, and we’re growing digital-only subscriptions via our e-edition,” said Jim Moroney, Publisher and CEO of the Dallas Morning News in the US, whose company is featured in the report. “However, if your whole strategy to grow revenue is built on [those activities], I don’t think you are going to be able to stabilise your revenue for a considerable period of time – or get it growing again – because for the next five to seven years, I think the decrease in print advertising will likely be greater, on a year-after-year basis, than the potential increase in revenues from digital advertising and digital-only subscriptions,” continued Moroney, “That’s why we’re going out and trying to build or acquire additional ways to grow revenue.”

There are 14 case studies in the report featuring publishers from around the world, from the Financial Times in the UK to Grupo Nación in Costa Rica to RCS Media in Italy, for example.

Alternative Revenue Streams for Publishers also features advice from such visionaries as Sverre Munck, known for his role in helping transform Schibsted Media Group into a global media company and industry standout. “Many publishing companies are still protecting legacy businesses,” Munck said. “Their ability to focus on new revenue streams depends on how advanced they are in their transformation process. I have seen cases where the shareholders’ conclusion was that they needed to define [a strategy] and invest in a very different type of business, outside media.”

The report focuses on five opportunities:

  • Diversification: “There are companies doing magazines just for people who own their own airplanes; it’s small but valuable. That said, I recommend going for the biggest pot of gold you can identify. There is the risk of going for something small which won’t yield enough revenue even if highly successful.” – Alan Mutter, former newspaper editor and Silicon Valley CEO, and educator in entrepreneurship at the University of California.
  • Digital marketing services: “Overall marketing spend is growing, but the share of the overall marketing spend that display [advertising] gets is shrinking… There is going to be more and more money in agency services. If you’re only selling display advertising, then you’re fighting harder for something that’s shrinking and shrinking.” – Ben Shaw, Director of Global Advisory for WAN-IFRA.
  • Events: “Event management is an industry where you get better at it the more you do it. You are positioning yourself for greater growth and profitability in the second year. Lessons can be learned, processes refined, and it can then organically grow from there.” – Dan Hartman, Vice President of Events Development at Utah Media Group in the USA.
  • E-commerce: “[Online stores] bring in additional revenues. They will not change our fortune or our destiny, but it’s an additional revenue stream. Two, you are giving service to your readers, so you are increasing their loyalty… Three, we are getting data. We are getting a ton of information about our readers that we wouldn’t have had the chance to capture just by serving content.” – Alceo Rapagna, RCS Chief Marketing and New Business Officer, Italy.
  • Video: “Quality and engagement should be the KPIs to video. … Publishers may have a grand plan when it comes to online video, but when competition hits and when video ratings match neither high hopes nor investments, publishers quickly turn to a short-sighted view of their video operations.” – Magnus Zaar, video expert and former head of TV for Aftonbladet in Sweden.


WAN-IFRA members can download the report for free; non-members can purchase the report from our website: .

 The report is sponsored by our technology partner, Protecmedia.

Contact - Inquiries

Dean Roper, Director of Insights, WAN-IFRA, +49-(0)172-6005604,



WAN-IFRA, based in Paris, and Frankfurt, with regional offices in Chennai, Singapore, and Mexico, is the global organisation of the world’s newspapers and news publishers. It represents more than 18,000 print and online publications, and serves over 3,000 member companies in more than 120 countries. Its mission is to defend and promote press freedom, and help independent news publishing companies to succeed in their transformation process, increase their business, and perform their crucial role in open societies. WAN-IFRA is a leading global resource for publishers, editors, chief technology officers, digital business executives, news publisher associations, technology suppliers, service providers and research centres with three focus areas : innovation and business development - regulation and global media policy - press freedom. Learn more about WAN-IFRA at

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