We’re heading into 2013 with five resolutions for the media industry:
- Try new models for monetization. Who says paywalls are the only answer? In 2013, media companies need to experiment with new models for monetizing content. Membership, pay-as-you-go or a-la-carte premium offerings, apps: if consumers will pay for music and streaming video—in the right format, at the right price point—then why not news and journalism? 2013 is the year to experiment with different models of monetization.
- Find a place for long-form journalism. If you haven’t checked out the New York Times’ Snow Fall project, stop everything and do that now. We’ll wait: The average visitor spent 12 minutes there. Back yet? How about Matter, a new science and technology magazine, commissioning long-form, investigative journalism, with each article made available for 99¢. Matter‘s first article is 7,826-words long. Your readers, too, will spend time with high quality content that’s well packaged and well presented. What’s the place for long-form journalism in your industry?
- Make events an integral part of your brand. Your brand is what keeps the members of your community connected—to you, and to each other. And nothing brings your brand to life more than putting it on stage at a live event. If you already have a live events strategy, make it stronger. If you don’t, find ways to put your readers (and advertisers) in a room, put your brand in the limelight, and watch the magic happen.
- Get your web site mobilized. By now, 27% of U.S. internet traffic is coming from mobile devices. What does your web site look like to readers on an iPhone or Android device? And how about your HTML emails? There’s no excuse: the world is going mobile, and you need to embrace it. Get your mobile act together now, or get left behind.
- Don’t sell yourself—and your audience—short. CPMs are plummeting, and lead gen programs need to deliver more for less. If that sounds familiar, you need to take stock of how you really deliver value in your industry. Your readers are not database entries; they are customer relationships. And like all customer relationships, they need to be nurtured, not spammed. Find new ways to add value to both readers and advertisers; odds are you’ll also find new ways to build revenue.
Happy New Year! Are there any additional resolutions you think will be key for the media industry in 2013?