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Newsrooms have been staring at their analytics and sharing them for years, right? What else could we possibly learn from these numbers?
I hear editors say analytics mostly confirm what they already know. Crime, crime, crime … it’s all people want to read online.
In other newsrooms, I hear people talking about analytics and how to use them to focus on the content that really counts for readers. Here are some tips to find out how to learn from the information that comes from analytics to ensure your coverage is deep and meaningful in ways your readers will appreciate.
1. SHARE WITH EVERYONE: Editors aren’t the only ones who benefit from studying analytics. Reporters can learn from their own analytics, too.
Now: How do reporters learn about analytics? Some newsrooms have screens up in the newsroom to show real-time analytics. Reporters will stop by and take a look at the screens occasionally. And many newsrooms share a list of the most popular content on the website each day with the whole staff.
Dig deeper: Give the keys to your analytics to everyone. Hold a brown bag lunch session in which your analytics guru gives basic pointers on analytics to the whole staff. So, give everyone access and teach them how to use your analytics tools. In many GateHouse Media newsrooms, we use Parse.ly, which allows reporters to find out exactly how their own content is doing. Just think, your education reporter may discover that readers gravitate toward stories about standardized testing, prompting a deeper dive into those tests in schools in your area. If reporters only saw those lists of the most popular content, they might not have seen the audience trend on school testing. Some editors push back, saying some folks might be depressed to see how little time people spend with their content, but this is no reason to keep the information from your staff. Great leaders understand that information is important for growth, and they will look for ways to help struggling staff members learn from their own metrics and produce content that resonates with readers. Keep reading
Industry Trend of the Week
Push vs. pull; platforms vs. websites; membership vs. advertising, these are questions facing publishers this week. New thinking is being applied as the struggle continues to engage and monetize audience as digital subscriptions flat line and ad CPMs fall. Publishers are hiring more analysts to better wrangle the flood of data their users are generating, and audience engagement managers who can understand where the audience is and serve the right content on the right platform at the right time. Data and time are the new digital currencies.
Story of the Week
Paid content journey – from dollar shave to fan club
Like the Dollar Shave Club, paid content started with a simple value proposition underpinned by a big upsell. Now though, as digital subscriptions have ceased to grow, publishers are thinking about “fan clubs” to drive subscription revenue while weaning themselves off decreasing advertising CPMs.
Piano will be attending a lot of conferences in April. If you would like to set up a meeting with our sales team for a demonstration of our software, get in touch with the Piano representative who will be attending the conference (listed below). We look forward to meeting with you and showing you what Piano can do for you!
April 11 – INMA’s Big Data for Media in New York City. Piano CEO Trevor Kaufman is participating on a panel. We will also have a booth, please feel free to drop by and visit us for a demonstration of our software! To set up a meeting, please email David Restrepo.
April 12 – FT Digital Media 2016 in London. Piano’s CRO Peter Richards is attending and would be happy to set up a meeting and demo Piano VX or Piano Composer or both. Please send him an email to set up a meeting.
April 16 – NAB Show, Las Vegas. Piano’s West Coast Sales representative Nick Frazee will be attending the show and would be delighted to show you how Piano works with our current OTT clients in helping them monetize their video content. To set up a meeting with Nick, please send him an email.
April 17 – Media Xchange in Washington D.C. Our East Coast Sales representative Meghan Wright will be in booth 105 where she’ll have running demonstrations of our software. If you would like to set up a meeting with Meghan, please send her an email.
By Nick Tjaardstra, WAN-IFRA
What does selling online news have in common with selling shaving razors?
In the U.S., the Dollar Shave Club is hard to miss and simple to understand. Simply put, for a dollar a month (+ two dollars postage) they will send you a razor and regular cartridge refills. Bolstered by venture capital and a massive TV and online ad campaign, the company has gone from zero to a billion dollars in value in a few short years.
As it turns out, the offer is not as simple as it sounds: there are actually two more tempting offers on the website. You can get a better razor cartridge with four blades for $6 and even better, a crazy luxury six-blade device for $9. The classic upsell.
Back in 2009, Press+, now part of Piano Media, was the news industry equivalent of the dollar shave club. For just a few dollars a month, you could get unlimited access to your favourite U.S. news sites.
Once The New York Times adopted the meter in 2011, the concept spread like wildfire. If you were lucky, news publishers might throw in a tablet app or even a Sunday print edition. And soon almost every news outlet with a paid content offer had a similar upsell.
Industry Trend of the Week
Flying under the radar but with tremendous potential for publishers was Apple’s announcement this week that they plan to extend Apple Pay, their service that lets shoppers complete a purchase on mobile apps with their fingerprint rather than by entering credit card details, to websites later this year. With more and more readers shifting to mobile to consume media and publishers increasingly reliant on subscriber revenue, a “one-touch” solution, albeit with a steep processing fee, that has access to hundreds of millions of credit cards, could be hugely beneficial to those seeking to monetize mobile users.
Story of the Week
Expanding Apple Pay to websites could help solve a problem for news orgs seeking subscribers on mobile
With Apple Pay coming to mobile websites, online publishers could be huge beneficiaries. With more readers using mobile, publishers being increasingly reliant on subscription payments and the burden of typing in payment info on a mobile device, a one-tap payment connected to an Apple account is a huge advantage over most currently popular payment methods. Keep reading