By Charlotte Pottier-Bonneville
The Canadian journalism industry is struggling and has been for many years. The pandemic and the disappearance of advertising funds are only making it worst for journalists to survive.
The Canadian journalism advertising market was amongst the hardest hit in the world in 2020, according to the Reuters Institute
However, new sources of revenues and specific content development are providing much-needed funding for journalism.
Here are three innovative ways media outlets are using to help grow their revenue:
- Niche Content
Specialized content that cannot be found elsewhere is driving growth in revenue for some media outlets. Associate professor at the School of Journalism of X University, Asmaa Malik, gives the Globe and Mail as an example.
“They [Globe and Mail] focus heavily on their business report with access to information you cannot get anywhere or be replicated and charge a premium for those who want the information,” said Malik.
Malik adds paying content is not limited to the news. Specific topics of interest also help grow the bottom line.
“The New York Times is known for content only accessible through a subscription, like their puzzles or their cooking feature. It’s not just about subscribing to the news, it’s striving to be other things that are connected,” said Malik.
- Company Partnerships
Similarly to ads, affiliate links, are new opportunities to make commission through partnerships with major companies, such as the Toronto Star with Shopify, Amazon, and Skimlinks.
Associate professor and expert in media logic at the School of Journalism of X University, Nicole Blanchett, explains the strategy.
“In certain articles, if you press on a link to find out more information about a product and you buy that product, the media outlet actually gets some money from that transaction,” said Blanchett.
This explains why so many product advertisements appear on your screen when you are browsing the news.
- Tax Platforms
According to Nieman Reports, Australia has mandated Google and Facebook to share the advertising revenue they make with media outlets. This encouraged France and the U.K. to look into the issue.
In Canada, Google and Facebook collect 80 per cent of revenues from digital advertising, according to the Toronto Star.
Advocating for laws protecting revenues, can be a game changer and provide more financial security to news outlets.
Innovation and new funding sources can be expected in the future.