Business Models

Good reads about journalism, tech and media

Indiegraf Aims to Reimagine the Newspaper Chain for Digital News Outlets

By Sarah Scire

27 May 2020

The Canada-based network aims to take the best of newspaper chains for local digital publications — and leave the rest. More


The Paywalls Are Tumbling Down

By Enrique Dans

20 January 2020

These are bad times for paywalls. The business model seen as a solution for newspapers struggling to adapt to the internet has taken another battering with the launch of Chrome 76, the latest version of the world’s most popular browser. More


Measuring What Makes Readers Subscribe to The New York Times

By Daniel Mill

1 November 2019

Understanding what drives someone to purchase a news subscription is far from simple. Each potential subscriber is exposed to different news stories, advertisements and messages both on our site and off of it. More


Why Bundled Subscriptions Won’t Save the News Industry

12 July 2019

Earlier this month, a company called Mogul News launched a news app that curates article content from three media outlets: Bloomberg, The Financial Times, and The Economist. If you were to subscribe to each of these publications separately, it would add up to at least $944 a year, but the Mogul News app costs just $9.99 a month, or $119 annually. More


Navigating Non-Profit News

By Peter Osnos

7 July 2019

In Miami last February about 600 people convened to consider tackling the great challenges to local journalism (and journalism generally) with non-profit models. It was, by all accounts, a major occasion attracting representatives of the most formidable new enterprises including The ProPublica Local Reporting Network, Report for America and the American Journalism Project and funders led by the John N. and James L. Knight Foundation which announced that it “would be doubling our investment in strengthening journalism to $300 million over the next five years.” More


Mapping the Brutal Subscription Battlefield

By Frederic Filloux

22 April 2019

Subscription is the model of the moment for news. But the field is taken over by large players who will spare no expenses to erect the most robust barriers to entry. More


Death By Innovation: How Newspapers Ruined Their Own Industry

By Scott S. Bateman

15 December 2018

The death of the newspaper industry is a legend-in-the-making story about managers who oppose change. It’s also a lesson in how to undermine innovation. More


Why News Weeklies Like Time Lost so Much of Their Value

By Simon Owens

18 December 2018

The past two decades have not been kind to legacy media outlets, but they’ve been especially brutal for news weeklies — magazines that were specifically designed to summarize each week’s news in an easily digestible format. More


Small-Town American Newspapers Are Surprisingly Resilient

1 December 2018

Jay Nolan surveys his media empire from a shed-like building outside London, Kentucky. On his desk is a stack of eight newspapers, including the Berea Citizen (“established in 1899”, circulation 4,511), the Mountain Advocate (“since 1904”, circulation 4,500) and the Pineville Sun-Cumberland Courier (“celebrating 109 years”, circulation 1,646). More


The New York Times on Pace to Earn More Than $600m in Digital This Year

By Joshua Benton

1 November 2018

The Failing New York Times released its third-quarter numbers this morning and, well, if the rest of the news industry was doing this well, we could shut down Nieman Lab and grab some worry-free beach time in warmer climes. Its ongoing transition from print to digital revenue has been managed without the staffing disruption just about everyone has seen, and it continues to see significant jumps in paying digital subscribers, seven years after launching the paywall and two years after its initial Trump bump. More


As News Deserts Expand, New Approaches to Local News Are Taking Root

By Karen Rundlet

16 October 2018

If news and information are part of the fabric of democracy, then the fabric of U.S. democracy is in tatters. That’s the conclusion that leaps off the map in the 2018 The Expanding News Deserts report, which shows that 171 U.S. counties do not have a local newspaper, and nearly half all counties — 1,449 — have only one newspaper, usually a weekly. The report by Penelope Muse Abernathy, Knight Chair in Journalism and Digital Media Economics at the University of North Carolina, shines the light on a silent phenomenon, the disappearance of 1,800 newspapers since 2004, and drop by half of the number of reporters covering local news. More