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The news industry’s biggest revenue model is yet to come. And, it will be Googlish. 6/2/08

Posted by Steve Boriss in RevenueModels.

Depending upon how you look at it, the music industry is now either further ahead or further behind the news industry in adapting to the Internet. For being in an industry many thought might end, Warner Music CEO Edgar Bronfman sounds quite confident there will be several revenue streams that will keep him in business. He says there will be a purchase model for albums and songs, subscription models, advertising revenues, plus things he calls “access” and “network licensing” models.

So lets assume that, similarly, the news industry adapts and develops several revenue streams. We already know that online advertising can be one of them, and the Wall Street Journal has proven that subscription fees can be another. But we have yet to see the biggest one of them all, the Googlish revenue model. We will have arrived when potential advertisers who could never before afford to advertise suddenly can — potential advertisers whose geographies are too spread-out to justify metro-level advertising, or whose sales levels cannot justify paying for the full circulation of specialized magazines. Google helped solve their problems by selling advertising by the keyword, creating affordable micro-audiences for micro-advertisers. Online hyperlocal news will do the same, turning every local mom-and-pop, retail outlet, and service provider into a business that can afford to, and cannot afford not to, advertise. There is life after Google, but we must learn from their success.


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