Publisher-Independent Platforms Cannibalize Existing Subscription Models

Platforms like Blendle or Pocketstory don´t seem to lead to net subscription gains for publishing houses.  According to a study conducted at the University Hamburg and Groningen, many existing subscribers simply shift towards publisher-independent platforms to save money. These digital apps benefit most from flat fee models.  As long as pricing stays below € 10, the market potential is estimated at 7% in Germany.

Tamedia’s Annual Report 2016

Swiss media group Tamedia lost 5.5 % of its revenue and significant 63.4 % of its net income in 2016. Its EBITDA margin sank from 22.9 % to 20 %. Reason being is the sharp decline in regional advertising income (minus 9.3 %). The share of digital revenues increased by two percentage points to 22.7 % of total revenues. Earnings from digital also became more profitable (EBITDA margin increased from 31.9 % to 37.4 %)… more

How to Increase the Quality of User Comments

Norwegian broadcaster NRKbeta introduced a feature that requires its users to successfully answer a quiz about the particular article they intend to comment on. “If you spend 15 seconds on it, those are maybe 15 seconds that take the edge off the rant mode when people are commenting,” editor Arnesen told the Nieman Lab. There are more and more tools in the marketplace that recognize “toxic” comments and delete them automatically, i.e. Perspective, Coral Project, Civil or Vuukle that generates additional revenue on top.

Facebook to Stamp out Fake News in Germany

Germany is going to be the second country where Facebook targets to flag fake news. In the U.S. partners as AP or ABC News already monitor the fake news process for Facebook. In Germany, Correctiv is the first partner and Focus Online allegedly will be the second. Facebook´s head of news partnerships for Europe Nick Wrenn to The Media Briefing podcast: “Freedom of speech absolutely has a place. We are looking at stuff that is malicious, totally wrong and done for nefarious reasons.” … more

NBC News buys 25% shares of Euronews

U.S. giant NBC News targets to compete with CNN on a global level and is said to pay around USD 30 million to become a shareholder of the then rebranded pan-European news network “Euronews NBC”. The controlling shareholder with 53% is the Egyptian Naguib Sawiris. The European commission is going to fund the network for the next 4 years… more

Austria Increases Subsidies for Media Outlets

Austria is said to double its state-funded subsidies from EUR 8 million to EUR 17 million. In the future, free daily newspapers will qualify as well for financial support. Weekly (daily) news organizations need to employ 3  (6) editors to meet the minimum threshold. There is a cap at EUR 1 million per outlet. News organizations who make sure that reader comments are published under their real names receive a bonus. … more

Greek’s Best-Selling Newspaper Suspended

Greek publishing house DOL cannot meet its credit payments and is said to owe 174 million Euros to Greek banks. Therefore it had to suspend its newspapers “To Vima” and “Ta Nea”. The latter used to be Athen’s most popular daily selling 200,00 copies in the 90ies and lately only sold 15,000 copies. Management blamed the government for not bailing out its banks (which otherwise might have extended the credit line.)

Chinese News App pays out Money to its Users

“Monetizing the reading experience is just a gimmick to attract users”, says the editorial director of the Chinese news app Bingdu in an interview with Storybench.  In average users earn a little less than $ 0.04 per day from the advertising revenue. The main idea behind is to collect data from their audience to improve the user attractiveness of Bingdu. The app has been downloaded 80 million times… more