Media, Journalism Reports 2024: Key Findings and Takeaways for Publishers

Media, Journalism Reports 2024: Key Findings and Takeaways for Publishers

It is necessary to constantly innovate and find new solutions to progress, which is a common practice in the media industry also. Amidst the growing number of newsrooms and publishing houses, digital publishers are exploring new strategies to boost their digital media footprint and revenue, ensuring they remain ahead of rivals.

The Innovation Media Consulting Group's annual survey for the WAN IFRA is out for 2024-25. The report says that Media worldwide is worried about AI adoptions and trying to extend their business in various ways to generate revenue. It recommends that media houses should start three or more business models rather than just concentrating on reader revenue. 

The elaborated report from Reuters Institute- Journalism, media, and Technology Trends and Predictions 2024 reveals all the minute information and challenges of journalism ahead in 2024.

Nielsen published their annual marketing report, which has exciting insights into how marketers are planning this year ahead in terms of strategy, budget, and spending.

You deserve the precise information to act fast. 

This article analyses insights from three major reports. WAN-IFRA- Innovation in news media world report, along with journalism, media, and technology trends and predictions 2024 published by The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, Nielson's 2024 annual marketing report.

It hopes to provide an overall analysis of the state of global media, assist and encourage media to widen their revenue streams, and update outdated technology.

Disclaimer: The credits of most of the metrics and facts in this blog go to recent reports published by WAN IFRA, Reuters, and Nielsen.

What is in the Publisher's Mind? 

Forget Political and economic volatility, global elections, and job losses. The media industry is worried more about AI innovations and accommodating AI in the newsroom amidst AI mania spanning worldwide. 

Reuters mentions that content and distribution will be supercharged with AI, and journalists and organizations need to rethink their roles. However, the report extends the idea that news brands worldwide embrace AI with new in-house tools.

If not a majority, journalists worldwide are concerned about the increased cost of operation, declining advertising revenue, increased churn rate, slow subscriber growth, AI in the newsroom, legal issues, and decreased referral traffic.

AI in the newsroom and revenue generation are considered the most important. What are the major concerns that have emerged?

Advanced AI tools are shifting the way media has worked so far. Journalists are highly concerned about their replacement with AI solutions. The way media has applied business models for revenue generation has also been undergoing a paradigm shift.

Another hidden or unpopular truth is that journalists worldwide are using AI tools for different purposes, for which the majority of the respective organizations have not set standards. 

When AI is the talk of the town, the traditional or common business models publishers have been applying need to be aligned or changed accordingly.

Trends in Global Marketing and How can Media Leverages that?

The recent report published by Nielsen reveals the marketing trends globally. According to that, 72% of global marketers expect an increased ad budget this year, up from 64% in 2023. Furthermore, 2/3 of media budgets are going toward digital channels—with CTV, search, and retail media driving the most significant increases.

When marketers plan to increase their spending on CTV and digital channels, newsrooms can also take advantage of attracting good brands to advertise on their platforms.

Another insight from the report is that 25% of marketers are planning to reduce their spending on print and increase their budgets on digital.

This is good news for newsrooms and media houses primarily concentrating on digital. Hybrid players may be affected by marketers' decisions; however, they can also focus on their digital platforms.

Source: Nielsen annual marketing report
Source: Nielsen

You can’t engage with audiences you never reach. Nielsen reveals the importance of advertising on the right channel. Though it concerns various channels, it is also true for digital media.

The conclusion is that “ if your media page is reaching a larger number of people, then big brands will show interest in advertising with you." They will also measure the success of their spending and try to optimize it in the right channel.

When channel effectiveness is compared to objectives, 72% of print media ads deliver below-average effectiveness for brand objectives. At the same time, 62% of digital display ads deliver above-average effectiveness for both brand and sales objectives.

Source: Nielsen annual marketing report
Source: Nielsen

This year, there is an expected increase in digital advertising spending, while spending on print ads is anticipated to decrease. The annual Nielsen marketing report reveals various insights that marketers will likely put into action this year, potentially impacting the revenue generation of media publishers.

This report illuminates the fact that marketers are diverting their spending on advertising. The media should also consider this to draw and adapt different business models since ads are one of the essential revenue drivers. 

Comprehending the overall playground and trends, let’s plunge deeper into the business models that media should focus on this year for a targeted approach to revenue generation. 

A Dive into Digital Media Business Models 

The Reuters report declares that a large majority (80%) of those surveyed believe the subscription business is a significant revenue stream. At the same time, the WAN-IFRA report exhibits that reader revenue should account for 40 percent of a successful digital business model. This depicts what needs to be improved in media when it comes to digital media business models.

Selling Your Content to OpenAI

You must have heard about the battle between The New York Times and OpenAI over using the publisher's data and archives to train its models. OpenAI uses platforms to get information and train its models not only with NT but also with many news publishers. The lawsuit and consternations about this are still ongoing.

Meanwhile, certain brands are tying up with OpenAI to allow them to take data archives and train the model. The innovation in media report termed this business model ' publisher as a content syndicator'.

Media houses are selling their news archives to OpenAI, and reports state that OpenAI is giving publishers between $1 million and $5 million a year for access to their archives.

There are proactive and reactive strategies between OpenAI and media. The choice is completely dependent on the newsroom. However, the report provides insightful information that brands have already adopted this as a business model. 

Subscription Business

Subscription is the primary business model that news publishers globally employ. This is not a new revelation. Then what is changing?

Reuters foresees an increase in bundling subscriptions in 2024. Digital news and other non-news content may also see more bundling this year. The same is true for innovation in news media world reports.

Publishers aim to offer the best quality content at a premium and ensure that the right information reaches the right audience. Furthermore, they have started bundling subscriptions—bundling in two ways: with an appropriate news provider or various offerings from the same brand. In both ways, they are beginning to offer better value for the money the customer paid. 

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Media, Journalism Reports 2024: Key Findings and Takeaways for Publishers

Regardless of the tier, large and small news brands tie up with the best partner to offer bundle subscriptions. The media, as a whole, still believes that the primary method of generating income is through paid content. Hence, newsrooms are trying to implement their paid content strategy differently.

If you are planning to implement bundle subscriptions or encounter challenges with existing paywall management systems, log on to Quintype. The expert will assist you in implementing the paywall solution and guide you through the best examples and strategies for bundling.

Advertisement

Advertisement is an evergreen revenue model that doesn't need further embellishments. Rather than placing random advertisements, creating an advertisement strategy partnering with brands can make a better impact for both advertisers and brands.

Understanding your target audience and helping advertising brands to reach out them can help the brands who advertise on your platform to serve their audience better.

Newsrooms can partner strategically with top brands and play their ads specifically targeted to their audience. For instance, if you are a sports magazine, you can partner with energy drink brands for ads. As per the WAN IFRA report, brands such as the New York Times and the Washington Post have done this.

Offering Data to Advertisers 

Most brands use cookies to collect data from website traffic. After ensuring that reader privacy and confidential information are protected, advertisers will share the necessary data to improve ad targeting.

However, this process is time-consuming to implement. The publisher needs to collect first-party data, integrate it, evaluate it using modeling tools to predict the traits, and then sell it to advertisers for better targeting. This involves risk and a challenging implementation process.

Hosting Events 

Hosting various events is a possibility to meet the target audience. Selecting the opportunity to host or sponsor good events can help reach the target audience directly.

Physical events can have more impact than virtual events. Offering a unique value proposition to event attendees is a challenge for the brand that can be overcome with the help of a skilled team.

The WAN-IFRA report projects other business models, such as a publisher as a club, an IT provider, a brand licensor, an educator, a philanthropy partner, an affiliate marketer, and a publisher as a think tank. Publishers can select such business models based on their needs, audience, budget, and objectives.

The Urgency of Updating Your Newsroom Technology

With the spontaneous explosion of AI adoptions, newsrooms are primarily concerned about implementing AI technology in newsrooms. Legacy publications and reputed brands have built custom AI tools and automation at the back end. Quintype has published a web story series revealing how newsrooms globally use AI in their daily operations.

According to Reuters, 56% of the survey respondents feel that using AI at the back end is important. At the same time, they are worried about creating content with AI.

Nevertheless, the Quintype web stories that revealed how AI has been used globally and our published articles indicate that AI assists newsroom operations and is not a substitute for trustworthy and genuine journalism.

According to various survey respondents, backend automation and transcriptions are the most helpful tasks, followed by a recommender system, content creation, coding, and news gathering. The WAN-IFRA report also discusses AI in the emerging newsroom and how brands use it.

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Media, Journalism Reports 2024: Key Findings and Takeaways for Publishers

There is no evidence or arguments that AI can replace journalists and create reliable content. All eyes are focused on automating routine, mundane, and repetitive tasks that can consume time and increase efficiency. Additional offerings are a bonus, while true journalism always stands out. 

Big Techs are here. How do we proceed?

Seeing the urgency and emergence of AI-inbuilt backend infrastructure, Quintype is continuing to add AI-inbuilt tools to the content management system and page builder that help newsrooms do the best possible job except to replace their valuable journalist resources. 

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Summarisation, creating headlines, automating SEO needs such as meta titles and meta descriptions and social media activities at the back end, copy editing, translation into vernacular languages, and all-in-one broadcasting have emerged as one of the first expectations of newsrooms with AI. Additionally, popular newsrooms are generating chatbots and AI tools outside their backend, which is later integrated with their main CMS solution.

Understanding the need and trend, Quintype has also designed the CMS and other offerings for their future-ready AI-powered newsroom, and we have covered the same through various articles on the website.

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Conclusion

The article, trying to connect the three reports, offers a general overview of journalism trends in 2024. Both reports explain AI in newsrooms, AI adoptions, and concerns related to AI replacing journalists.

Additionally, diversifying revenue models to stay ahead of the competition, providing trustworthy journalism, and fighting against misinformation are portrayed as major challenges. 

Publishers can concentrate on the adoption of new business models and reengineering newsrooms with AI-powered infrastructure for better opportunities. If you are facing challenges with existing technologies or want to convert to new technology, schedule a demo with Quintype.

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