Publishers rediscover the value of content

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Back from a massive world tour, INMA executive director and chief executive Earl Wilkinson has gathered insights into the media-technology intersection in a new report.

'News Media Outlook 2018: The New Economics of Content' reflects newsmedia companies' understanding of the emerging value of content to create data-infused reader-based business models that are impacting corporate cultures and audience relationships.

The annual global look at the strategy and trends driving newsmedia's transformation is available for free download by members at

Key themes in the report include:

Trends and strategy behind media transformation.

Business model innovation and value creation.

The accelerating role of data at media companies.

The re-awakening of news brands amid rising scepticism about journalism.

The rise of digital subscriptions, including culture change opportunities.

What subscription success is starting to look like.

The 2018 report synthesises dozens of interviews, sessions, and private interactions to create a narrative of surprising optimism:

Strategic direction: Legacy media companies are moving in the right direction, yet at an uneven pace over time. The strategic context of media is changing as consumers drown in information overload.

Digital subscriptions: Reader revenue through digital subscriptions and memberships - and the new deep background necessary in acquisition, retention, engagement, and more - is emerging as the brightest possibility to replace departing print advertising in the revenue base. The Outlook report hints at the path forward with subscription stacks.

Big Data: Data is richly informing management and editorial decisions as companies aim to produce more content that drives engagement and creates brand value.

Brands: In an ecosystem rising in complexity, brands infused with a clear personality aimed at passionate audiences are becoming a strategic imperative.

'News Media Outlook 2018: The New Economics of Content' is punctuated by case studies from Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, and Norway - innovation hot spots that serve as benchmarks for media companies worldwide. The 114-page report is divided into two parts: strategy and trends, as well as digital subscriptions. The author argues that the importance of reader revenue in the broader subscription economy warrants such an emphasis. Among highlights in the digital subscription section:

New context on the rise of digital subscriptions.

Which models are working in which contexts (meter, freemium, hybrid).

What success looks like.

The concept of a subscription stack.

How Scandinavia is ground zero for global best practice.

The INMA community now consists of 8,758 executives at 657 media companies in 64 countries, with offices in the US, Belgium, India, and El Salvador.

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