It’s ‘all’ about reader revenues, say Innovation Report editors


Without generating revenues directly from readers, journalism is doomed, write the editors of FIPP and Innovation Media Consulting’s Innovation World Report in their editors’ letter for the 2018/19 edition.

With digital advertising not media’s saving grace it once – from when most the industry ‘committed the sin’ of putting all of their content online for free – promised to be, “it will never support our journalism,” John Wilpers and Juan Señor write. “Only journalism worth paying for will save journalism.”

Innovation World Report 2018-2019 launches on 19 March at Digital Innovators’ Summit in Berlin. It is the 9th edition of the highly popular annual report. Save 15% on the cover price by pre-ordering your copies now, before 16 March.

In their editors’ letter Wilpers and Señor write, “The future of magazine media has much potential… but without the support for the folks for whom we create all this great content, well, it will be increasingly unprofitable, and, ultimately, unsustainable.”

They emphasise that “reader revenue is not simply subscriptions,” but includes a diverse portfolio of revenue streams from readers, from commerce to events and newer media formats. However, of subscriptions they say, “one of the pleasant discoveries after years of committing the media ‘original sin’ (putting content online for free) is that readers are finally willing to pay for our content … and not necessarily at bargain basement prices.


“The very success of the internet – the massive tsunami of free information – has, in the end, actually worked against the web. Of all the free information out there, what’s trustworthy? Are the authors really experts, or are they poseurs? What is fake news? What is real?”

Quoting The Economist’s (a FIPP member) Michael Brunt, speaking at the FIPP World Congress in October last year, they explain how it offers a trusted filter on world affairs in a “finish-able package” which is the “anti-dote to information overload.” This creates value, with The Economist positioned as a “premium product that costs three to four times more than other similar publications but readers are happy to pay for it.”

They also reference Meredith (also a FIPP member) executive chairman Steve Lacy telling The Wall Street Journal, “The beauty of millennials is that they are very comfortable buying anything online and using a credit or debit card. “Our interface with them is the credit card and auto renewal. It has to be the right content, and it has to be served to them the way they want it. But they’ll pay for it.”

 Innovation 2018-2019 features:

  • Distributed content/social media: It’s finally time to end the Facebook addiction. After the so-called ‘Facebook Apocalypse,’ media companies will actually be better off in the long run
  • Media tech: The top six media technologies you need to know about
  • Monetisation: Reader revenue, and also a bevy of other sources to make you as close to bullet-proof as possible
  • Offbeat: The wild, the wacky and the wonderful (digital isn’t the only place where innovation is happening!)
  • New digital narratives: Media companies who employ the best storytelling tools will win audiences; everyone else will shrivel and many will die
  • Print: Properly positioned (think premier, subscription-based publications), print can drive significant revenue for a long time to come

You can download the complete editors’ letter here and pre-order your copy before 16 March to get 15% off the cover price, here. The Innovation in Magazine Media 2018-2019 World Report is written for FIPP every year by Innovation Media Consulting Group — a global consultancy helping publishers succeed in the digital age. The report author is John Wilpers, senior director USA of Innovation Media Consulting, and it is edited by Juan Señor, senior partner.

Join the editors of the Innovation Report at the Digital Innovators’ Summit in Berlin, 19-20 March 2018, for a whirlwind tour of the newest, brightest and most innovative stories from around the world.

Register now to save on the early bird rate which ends 13 March.

Invite the editors to present to you and your colleagues. Contact Helen Bland at FIPP and we’ll put you in touch and we can also help you with bulk discounts for book orders, added value for your participants. FIPP members receive a digital copy of the Innovation Report for free, and save more than 40% on print copies. More about FIPP membership benefits here.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

It is the right time to support our high-impact reporting and authoritative and technical information with some of the best correspondents in the industry. Readers can power Indian Printer and Publisher’s balanced industry journalism and help sustain us by subscribing.

– Naresh Khanna

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