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Media Martini: Hard Paywalls & Membership Perks, Native Ads, Mobile Video Draws Advertisers

It’s Friday afternoon, and that means it’s time for two things: 1) a fabulous martini (or your drink of choice) and 2) a quick look at this week’s best stories in media.

1.  Orange County Register’s Hard Paywall and Membership ‘Perks’

Los Angeles AngelsThe Orange County Register’s “aggressive, contrarian approach” to paywalls is getting a lot of attention.  Forgoing the ‘leaky’ paywalls of other papers, the Register is using a hard paywall (“non-paying readers get nothing”) to encourage subscriptions – or, as they see it, membership.  And membership comes with perks, the latest of which includes free tickets to Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim games.  The new owners of the paper have invested heavily in producing quality content, launching new sections and adding features because “in order to justify charging for their content they have to make it worth paying for.”

2. Native Ads Lead To Revenue Growth For Forbes

Since the debut of its sponsored content platform ‘BrandVoice’ back in 2010, Forbes has become “one of the leaders in native advertising.” Partly due to this succes with native ads, Forbes achieved its best financial performance in the last five years in 2012. Digital ad revenue accounted for half of the company’s total ad revenue last year, and advertisers using BrandVoice were responsible for 10% of total revenue — and this number is expected to reach 25% by the end of this year. In short: it looks like native ads are here to stay.

3. The Wall Street Journal’s Mobile Video Draws Advertisers

The Wall Street Journal is getting “premium rates” for video ads on WorldStream, the Journal’s news gathering tool comprised of brief videos from reporters.  Reporters have embraced the new medium (it debuted last August), which allows them to be “more in line with real-time news and real-time publishing.” Hundreds of reporters have used the tool, generating 2,815 videos since launch.  Advertisers are also on board: according to WSJ, the video ads are drawing in between $40-$60 CPM.  Other publishers are considering adopting similar technology from Tout (the company behind WorldStream), including CBS, Fox, NBC Universal, WWE, La Gardere and Conde Nast.

WSJ Mobile Video via WorldStream page

Video post from WSJ’s WorldStream

What were you talking about this week in media?