Paperview received the INN 2023 award for Innovation in the “solutions for the sustainability of the media” category during the first “International Conference on Innovation in the Media” (https://obi.media/en/inn2023/) that took place between the first and the third of February, in Lisbon, promoted by the Observatory on the Innovation of the Media (Obi.media https://obi.media/en/) of the Lisbon Nova University (https://www.unl.pt/en).
Innovation requires a long path before it becomes an habit or a custom that nobody questions.
That is the path that Paperview has been following, driven by a strong conviction that our proposals make sense in helping the media to be sustainable.
By generating new financial streams for editors, by making more and better information accessible to readers, by fighting against the news deserts that large parts of western countries are becoming.
The award that the Observatory on the Innovation of the Media granted Paperview signals precisely how Paperview delivers a positive and innovative strategy in this industry’s struggle to achieve sustainability.
Turning the century
What is at stake here is the capacity of the media to succeed in having their digital transformation. Creating a website and feeding it with news, images and opinions is not enough. Looking at subscriptions like it was done 50 years ago, when they were a complement to sales and advertising, is no longer enough.
Either the digital revolution is global and includes the totality of the business model and the market, or it won’t succeed. There are as many examples of successes, as there are of failures.
The success cases are those that were able to go through a transformation to answer to new ways of living and buying. Amazon, Airbnb, Uber, The Guardian or a Mensagem to give a Portuguese example.
As Richard Furness, The Guardian’s Chief Strategy and Business Development Officer said, “The reader revenue strategy has been utterly, utterly transformative for us from top to bottom at The Guardian“.
Transformation in the new digital era, forces the media to go through significant changes in their internal structure to accommodate new areas of expertise. Like marketing, to build their products (from the content created in their news rooms) adapted to the new reality of their readers. Like the Reader Revenue manager, or the Data Manager, that will work together with Publishers and Editors to permanently monitor how news content behaves, and how accessible it is. Using not just predictive algorithms, but also real sales numbers. Theirs, and from the market as a whole.
We are aware that such organizations don’t change from in one day. But, most digital media’s dire financial situation should make them all step on the gas.
Wake up call
Let’s not forget that every day, readers are lost to piracy, to social networks, to fake news or even to indifference.
Nowadays we close the door on over 98% of those that try to get in and discover the best content that digital media has to offer. According to studies conducted in the US, 69% will not return to knock on that door again.
Consumers want to purchase and read newspapers like they did in paper. But now in digital, their preferred media, best adapted to their liquid lives. Why refusing this? Or why insist in despising the reader, in name of a pretense financial security resulting from a very own limited number of subscriptions? Why believe that everything that is published online is interesting to everybody?
Why stay the 20th century?