By Naomi Owusu, CEO at Tickaroo
The media industry has recently experienced a rapid digital transformation due to increased social media and smartphone use. In fact, over half of adults now access news on their mobile phones and laptops. This trend is particularly prevalent among younger generations, who value easily digestible, bite-sized news formats.
As news consumption rates increase, publishers must stay at the forefront of delivering genuine and valuable content to their audiences. Media must consistently remain relevant and present concise content as they compete for consumers and their attention. In addition, with the rising cost of living, people are becoming more hesitant to pay for content and are moving away from subscription-based services. This presents a challenge for publications needing help to fund their operations and expecting a further decline in ad revenue in 2023.
To stay competitive and succeed in the digital landscape while maintaining exclusivity for their audiences, publishers are beginning to adapt and invest in technologies that provide an advantage. Liveblogs, for example, allow content creators to interact with their audiences using images, videos, and polls while sharing valuable information in a format consumers desire. This approach effectively addresses the evolving needs and expectations of users.
So, let’s look at three ways publishers can increase revenue streams through live blogging while meeting consumers’ needs.
Sponsorships and in-blog advertisement
Sponsorships offer an excellent method for generating revenue while delivering paid content to audiences in a non-obtrusive manner. This is particularly beneficial during significant events and expos that can result in substantial traffic and visibility while providing attendees with crucial information about upcoming talks and breaks.
Sponsorships can also be effective for recurring content, such as daily live blogs. For example, brands like Starbucks or Minute Maid Orange Juice could sponsor publishers’ morning liveblogs. This could lead to local shops and bakeries having more selling opportunities in this space as brands seek more genuine advertising methods. Sponsoring liveblogs aligning with their brand identity and objectives is an excellent example of this approach.
Moreover, with the increase in ad-blocking technology, live blogs are emerging as a more effective platform for brands to advertise. Therefore, in 2023, we expect the incorporation of advertisements within liveblogs to gain traction.
Distribution to third parties
Collaboration and resource sharing greatly benefit publishers, opening up vast opportunities to tap into new income sources for various stakeholders. In particular, publications can market their content to third-party entities, catering to those lacking time or accessibility to certain areas. This would allow them to purchase content from other publications.
For example, sports coverage has grown in popularity in recent years. Smaller publishers can benefit from content providers like kicker, a leading German sports publisher, and the Sports Information Dienst, with their extensive data archives and wide-ranging coverage of various sports and leagues – resources that would be too expensive for them to maintain independently. Furthermore, by purchasing and incorporating liveblogs from these reputable sources, publishers can supply their readers with essential game statistics without the need to dispatch their reporters to the events, leading to significant time and cost savings.
Nurture content versus paywall
Numerous publishers offer content either for free or after a free registration process. For example, FAZ publication produces engaging content that reaches a broad audience. Therefore, they are not placing liveblogs behind the paywall. Instead, they value the importance of liveblogs to their readers and focus on nurturing potential subscribers, so this strategy aligns perfectly with their goals. In addition, live blogs are especially advantageous for search engine optimisation (SEO). They allow the publication to expand its coverage to new audiences and promote its content and other offerings before suggesting a subscription.
On the other hand, some publishers generate revenue by placing their most valuable content behind a paywall. Some do this from the outset, while others provide open access for a limited time to entice viewers to purchase memberships. Additionally, some clients use a metred paywall, offering 3-5 pieces of free monthly content. With audiences wanting to stay informed throughout the event, the publication adopting this model will experience numerous funnel entries and subscription conversions on multi-day liveblogs. While the first day is a free teaser, users must pay to access content on subsequent days. Many of them continue to stay informed for the remainder of the event.
Publications continuously face a race against time to adapt and flourish during this critical period of change as the media industry ramps up digitalisation. With the emergence of TikTok, Insta reels, and shorter news feeds, capturing people’s attention has become increasingly challenging, diminishing the influence of traditional communication channels.
Publications must discover editorial strategies to capture consumer engagement and encourage interaction with their content instead of being overlooked. Thankfully, live news updates are here to stay, with 7 out of 10 UK adults finding them important. Therefore, liveblogs offer an ideal combination of delivering genuine, captivating news while generating revenue from content in real-time.