Written by: Rashmi
When digital media first arrived, publishers saw it as their rival. They thought if the digital will rise, print has to decline. A few years down the road, the leaders of the publishing world are already realizing that print media and digital media do not have to be rivals. They can increase their revenues by combining both.
As a publisher, you already know how important positive cash flow is for your company’s growth. And to increase the cash flow, there is nothing better than having multiple revenue sources.
In a print-only world, advertising did the heavy lifting for the publisher’s revenue. Yes, consumers also paid money as subscriptions but that rarely matched the publishing cost, let alone bringing profits. That can be changed by balancing your revenue mix with print and digital publishing.
Now, if you shift your focus on digital publishing too, you will be able to add the following streams of revenue:
Single edition subscription or monthly/yearly subscription
Pay Per View for content behind the paywall
One-time donation or recurring donation
Selling tickets for online events hosted by publishers
Affiliate marketing for products
Having a large number of options makes sure that even if one revenue stream fails (because of another pandemic wave or any other such reason), others are there to sustain your business.
An increased number of revenue streams is not the only benefit of digital publishing. It also comes with the following benefits for publishers:
Breaking The Tyranny Of Advertisers:
If advertising is the sole bread earner of your business, you have to say ‘Yes’ to every demand of the advertisers. And this arrangement can be harmful to your business in the long term. Sometimes, advertisers even meddle with publishing content to make sure it serves their needs. But when you do a revenue mix of print and digital, you can break such tyranny of advertisers.
Reducing Cost For Distribution:
There are two ways of making profits: earn more and save more. So far, we just discussed how a mix of print and digital helps in earning more. But it is a less-talked-about fact that digital publishing also helps publishers in saving more. It saves money by significantly reducing the cost of distribution.
If you want to publish more copies in print, you have to put in more paper, more ink, and give more money to vendors. But if you want to publish more copies in digital, you just have to tap on a few buttons. This reduction in the cost of distribution adds a lot to the gross profit of your publishing business.
Broadening Your Readership:
The Internet is famous for reaching people that are otherwise considered as ‘unreachable’. There are many geographical areas where delivering print media such as newspapers and magazines is not financially beneficial. Once you bring the internet into the picture, catering digital content to these areas gives you a positive flow. This way, the perfect mix of print and digital publishing broadens your readership and hence increases your revenue.
Shortening the Feedback Loop:
It takes days, sometimes even weeks, to know the sales number on newspaper and magazine stands. If you want to get feedback and know what is working on the ground, you have to wait for a long time. But this feedback loop can be shortened by adopting print publishing. The publishers get the feedback in real-time. Once you know what is attracting more eyeballs, you can replicate the formula and increase your revenue.
To make the transition from print-only to a mix of print and digital publishing, you are going to need a Content Management System or CMS. It is like a digital version of the publishing press. You put your input in the form of text, images, and other metadata and the CMS churns out well-furnished content, ready to be consumed by the reader.