IMA Conference: Following the Online Money

(My last meeting ran late and I missed the first speaker. I’m bummed… -j.)

Barry Parr, JupiterResearch

Portals, cable TV sites rival traditional national news media. Mostly young people. (duh)

Locally, traditional media are still dominant

Most publishers have no alternative to ads

  • Subs work for WSJ, Variety, Playboy
  • Ecommerce may work for specialist pubs
  • Even requiring registration is a problem
  • Subscriber-only access may an alternative for some magazines…but there are a host of free competitors

Advertising alone is probably not enough

  • You need huge traffic volume
  • Building traffic is a challenge – requires more than on-air promotion
  • You don’t own (most of) the content
  • Sales culture – where are the ads?
  • Public broadcasting is poorly positioned for pay-for-performance advertising

A membership model is an alternative to ads

  • Your members love you
  • Your nonmember audience loves you
  • Low penetration of membership among actual broadcast audience
  • Most site visitors are potential members
  • Limit services to members only…
  • …and ask for the order

Rafat Ali, paidContent.org

  • Stay away from advertising, stick with sponsorship and membership
  • Startup content companies will arise and compete with radio. For example, who’s the biggest cult of personality in radio/podcasting today? Ricky Gervais, and he came through a meeting that didn’t exist a year ago and now he’s being distributed through Audible.com.
  • Shouldn’t public radio stations embrace consumer-generated media and aggregating it? Community will be the driver in helping to monetize.
  • Rise of the quasi-commercial companies, which let consumers do what they want with their content. (e.g. YouTube.com)

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