Today’s column is written by Ted Dhanik, CEO at engage:BDR.
The news media industry is caught between the traditions of the print world and the experimentations of the digital age.
Their struggle is to make money when information is largely free. To overcome this problem, publishers are debating between growing digital ad revenue, instituting paywalls or both. My contention is that most news organizations need to take an ad-supported approach to succeed in the 21st century.
Some news organizations are erecting paywalls that aim to extract a lot of revenue from a small, price-insensitive audience. This model can’t work for most publications, though, because it cannibalizes ad revenue and requires a high level of prestige.
Instead, the future of the news business belongs to publications that use native ads to elevate the quality and relevance of advertising. By taking a direct role in the editorial direction of native ads, news organizations can preserve their influence and contribution to public dialogue while maintaining a good experience for their readers and viewers.