DMA Singapore focus on pressing questions

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More platforms, more readers on mobile, chat apps, websites or on social media, new content formats and outstanding news experiences... but what about the revenue?

The issue of finding sustainable ways to monetise is one on which WAN-Ifra's upcoming Digital Media Asia 2017 event will focus. In Singapore from October 31-November 2, it will offer a series of workshops, roundtables and a two-day conference fully dedicated to growing news media digital revenues.

Asia director Gilles Demptos says the event will focus especially on paid content and digital subscriptions, digital transformation and reclaiming the ad premium market.

"Let's face it, quality digital journalism is not sustainable without audience revenues," he says. "The good news is that smart ways to charge for digital content are emerging. Publishers are successfully starting to monetise their audiences with paywalls and subscription schemes."

While publishers are being successful with native advertising, he says the growing shift to programmatic implies that they must quickly put in place or strengthen their data strategy. Publishers' ad networks are also appearing sprouting across the region and the conference will explore different models and the impact they can have now and at mid-long term on the news publishing business model.

"DMA will also feature encounters with digital leaders and case studies from media pioneers, and bring together experts in paid content from around the world," he says.

Among "must-hear" speakers are new SCMP chief executive Gary Liu, Scroll co-founder Sachin Doshi, and CNN senior social reporter Yusuf Omar.

Liu was previously chief executive of New York-based news aggregator Digg, and led Spotify Labs at the Swedish music and streaming service provider, while is a startup that wants to roll up a selection of stories from a wide variety of publishers and sell monthly subscriptions. Sachin was previously content and distribution vice president at Spotify.

Omar is an award-winning senior social reporter based in CNN's London bureau, with a special focus in mobile storytelling, including programming its Snapchat Discover channel. Most recently, Omar was mobile editor at the Hindustan Times in India where he was tasked with building a mobile journalism team.

More speakers are to be announced shortly. The event will also include presentation of the 2017 Asian Digital Media Awards, recognising publishers who have adopted digital media and mobile strategies as part of their total product offering to meet the major changes in how people consume news and information today.

More information at the DMA website.

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