New business models for magazine journalism

If digital calls call into question the main economic balances of the market and change the rules of the game, it opens up new horizons, provided that publishers accelerate their digital transformation and adapt their business model.

new media system

The digital revolution breaks the boundaries between channels: “Wherever there has been a market for magazine journalism, there is now a new media ecosystem to suit it A continuum from print to the Internet, from connected screens to events “, The study reports by Precepta (Xerfi) “New Business Models for Journalism–In the Era of Multi-Channel Distribution and Strategic Asset Valuation”. As traditional advertising continues to decline, in volume and value, publishers are moving into new territories to balance their revenue. Like non-media, for example, which is gradually asserting itself in all media groups: Marie Claire launched into concert productions this year, La Tribune now derives more than 20% of its income from its business. “I do not consider this non-informational but ‘live media’ insofar as it is above all a presentation of editorial content that is part of the continuity of the work of the editorial staff,” defined its CEO, Jean-Christophe Tortura.

Several business models: transfer of ownership, internationalization, service development

If, according to Precepta, print is to remain the heart of the ecosystem, publishers must find new sources of growth while reducing their cost. The survey evokes some of the avenues currently being explored by press groups:

  • Selling non-strategic securities, a strategic choice made by Lagardère Active, which sold ten of its press brands to Rossel and Reworld in April 2014 (Première, Psychologies, Be, Auto-Moto, Union, Pariscope and four decorative titles) to keep only its most famous titles. Strong (Elle, Paris Match, Télé 7 Jours, or JDD).
  • internationalization map Such as the American group Condé Nast who successfully imported Vanity Fair magazine into France in June 2013.
  • Another avenue to explore is services Which, by generating strong additional traffic, increases the audience, and ultimately contributes to a better evaluation of the advertising space. This “service center” model is that of the Le Figaro group, whose website is a gateway to access a world of services (job offers, real estate ads, etc.).
  • E-commerce is also a potential growth driver : Pascal Chevalier, President of Reworld Media and buyer of Marie-France, wants to bring management and editorial staff closer together and showcases his ambition to build the ‘Content Merchandising’ group (read our article here). Press groups like Marie-Claire’s or even Mondadori (Biba, Grazia and Vitale) are experimenting with e-commerce by taking advantage of the opportunities that mobile phones offer: visual recognition-based e-commerce apps like Selectionnist or Zoomdle give readers the opportunity to “shazam” products that They want to buy them in one click, converting media consumers into buyers.
  • Brand content As brand content adds value to advertising investments and borrows editorial and journalistic technologies in its form, publishers are increasingly developing branded content offerings for their advertiser clients. This is the case of Le Figaro, which created a dedicated unit, Ateliers Figaro, in early 2013. Successful strategyAnne-Sophie Nectoux, president of Ateliers Figaro, in an interview at the beginning of the year. In 2014, Les Ateliers Figaro recorded a growth of 28%. In terms of brand content, we have had more than 100 customers, and 70 of them, we have created real brand platforms. “
  • non media (see first paragraph above) It spreads in… the media! Challenges created its Economic Summit, Le Monde Autumn Festival, Marie Claire its Musical Nights, etc.

Playing on your strengths: promoting your brand

“Magazine titles that capitalize on the brand’s aura have the most flexibility”, says the Precepta study. In the age of excess information, Leading media brands see their role in prescriptions may enhance. In the context of the proliferation of show, they are producers of meaning. “If digital is essential to promoting our brands, then impact comes above all else from paper”emphasized in our columns(1) Xavier Romatet, CEO of Condé Nast France.

New Digital Opportunities: Data and “Social”

To take advantage of new sources of value located outside the normal territory of press media, Publishers are now hosting more and more videos, king format on the web which generates much better income than logo. The success of multi-screen video control rooms (Teads, YuMe) attests to this fundamental movement. Data mining provides monetization opportunities for publishers. By improving targeting, and thus the effectiveness of advertising investments, data should become the advertising agencies’ weapon to qualify their audience and ultimately market their ad space to the top.

But data mastery provides other tools related to editorial marketing to beat audience score: From a “user-centric” perspective, publishers can analyze traffic data, but also behavioral and contextual data from readers—internet users to reveal their preferencesand reorient their editorial strategy accordingly.

Read also: M6 Publicité, Franceinfo, Neighboring Press Rights Association … Media in the spotlight (May 2-6)

The importance of media and social networks in media consumption cannot be overlooked. More and more people are accessing information through these channels. So Community management is gradually establishing itself as a leading information carrier to build its impact. Another lever to develop: Co-created content. A means to sustainably capture the attention of its audience, these new patterns of information and communication integrate the public by making them participate in the life of the media through acts of co-creation. Thus Precepta advises publishers to “replace story-making with storytelling, to move from aggregated and co-created content to categorized and co-created content.” Le Monde has been significantly innovating on these topics with the launch of a new channel last year – “Les Décodeurs” – and “Fils de Discussion”.

(1) Interview with Xavier Romatet, p. 6-9 “Marketing” No. 181, Dec. 2014 – January 2015.

Find the presentation video of the Precepta (Xerfi) study:

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