Determine your revenue model
Diversify revenue with subscriptions, ads, and more
Ways to grow revenue
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
- 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.
Types of revenue
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.
Types of philanthropic funding
25% of publishers say they receive funding from philanthropy.
From 2009 to 2015, nonprofit media grants nearly doubled from $915 million to $1.9 billion.
Who in philanthropy supports journalism?
- Foundation grants
- Wealthy individuals
Foundations typically focus on specific causes like education, livelihoods, public health and human rights.
💡Best practice: Identify who cares about your mission, and assess whether they can and should fund your journalism.
Types of reader revenue
Direct support from your audience can diversify your sources of revenue. Types of reader revenue include:
- Subscription revenue
- Branded merchandise
- Classified listings
💡Best practice: Learn what news your audience is already paying for elsewhere by conducting a survey
Types of advisory services
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.
See what types of revenue other news organizations depend on
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