Media outlets the world over have found themselves grappling with changing technologies, revenue models and audience demands and preferences, which has meant that the ground shifted - and continues to shift - under their feet pretty much constantly.
The silver lining, though, is that the lack of stability has forced some experimentation that has fostered both innovation and new revenue sources/models as well as changing the tastes and behaviors of consumers. While there is no one recipe that works across geographies or regions, many outlets, such as Norway’s Amedia, are defying the odds by putting their own spin on their news platforms and apps - and reaching their audiences and meeting their needs in new ways.
A case in point: according to the Nieman Journalism Lab, reporting on findings from the Reuters Institute, young people in America are increasingly willing to pay for news apps. According to their report on digital news, the number of young people (aged 18-24) paying for online news rose from 4% in 2016 to 18% in 2017. For much of the digital era, this willingness to pay for news had been declining. While the report goes into considerable detail about the trends that inform this move toward paying for media, it’s worth remembering that it’s still a minority of people who are ready to pony up money for news.
But it’s also worth digging into the report to see what people pay for and why - not just for media outlets themselves but for the companies developing the technology that enables granular-level access control and tiered-access to different content. How can technology companies continue to create solutions that will match the growing need for flexibility in serving access-controlled content?
Technologies to match behaviors and needs
Varnish Software has been creating flexible paywall and access control-access limiting software for a number of years, and we’re making improvements and additions all the time (stay tuned, as we will be talking about this a lot in the coming months).