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Lesson 1 of 6
Determine your revenue model
Start building your revenue model
Build your tech stack (9:21)
Build a fundraising strategy (9:10)
Build news products (5:05)
Select a CMS for your news organization (4:56)
Evaluate your financial sustainability (7:05)
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Determine your revenue model

analytics

Diversify revenue with subscriptions, ads, and more

analytics

Ways to grow revenue

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Publishers say three or four different revenue streams are important or very important, according to a survey of media leaders globally.

In North America, our research showed that news organizations with three or more types of revenue were more likely to be profitable.

Diversifying revenue helps you:

  • Become sustainable
  • Grow overall revenue
  • Become more resilient to economic downturns

You can select from several types of revenue, including:

  • Ad revenue
  • Philanthropy
  • Reader revenue
  • Client services

Discuss your tax status with a tax advisor or lawyer, as this will impact how you can make money.

💡Best practice: Identify which revenue is easiest to earn, then add other types of revenue later.

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Types of revenue

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60% of local digital publishers said local ad revenue is a major revenue source, according to our research.

How to make money with ads on your news site

  • Direct sold are ads sold to an advertiser, such as a local business, without the help of a third party
  • Sponsorships, or sponsored content, are ads or logo placements sold to an advertiser so they can more closely associate with your brand
  • Programmatic displays relevant ads on your news site or app using ad management platforms, like Google Ad Manager

For each type of advertising, you will need

  • People, such as dedicated salespeople
  • Processes, such as the steps you take to run an ad campaign
  • Technology, such as ad management platforms

💡Best practice: Maximize revenue by using more than one type of ad revenue.

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Types of government funding

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Which government institutions fund journalism?

  • National governments
  • National and regional institutions
  • Cultural institutions

Governments typically support journalism through public licensing, direct subsidies, state advertising (such as public notices), and project-based funding.

💡Best practice: If you cover specific audiences or locales, identify local or regional institutions that support the same audiences or regions

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Types of reader revenue

newspaper (5)

Direct support from your audience can diversify your sources of revenue. Types of reader revenue include:

  • Subscription revenue
  • Donations
  • Memberships
  • Events
  • Branded merchandise
  • Classified listings

💡Best practice: Learn what news your audience is already paying for elsewhere by conducting a survey

newspaper (5)

Types of advisory services

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You might be an expert at creating, publishing and marketing content on the web — and there’s a market for this expertise.

Types of advisory services include:

  • Branded content
  • Consulting or professional training
  • Audience research and insights

💡Best practice: Factor in additional staffing costs into your prices.

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See what types of revenue other news organizations depend on

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Understand what sources of revenue other publishers use with Project Oasis.

Project Oasis is the Google News Initiative’s research on the growing number of locally-focused digital news organizations, created in collaboration with:

  • UNC Hussman School of Journalism
  • LION Publishers
  • Douglas K. Smith

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