Traditional Media Companies Reposition Online Offerings to Appeal to Marketers/​Consumers

Newspaper, television and radio media properties have begun the difficult process of building online revenue streams as the traditional business model erodes. Some media firms have found limited success.  A fresh analysis of this market change notes that local newspapers are having more success building online audiences than TV or radio stations. But they are still unable to support the business of gathering and reporting the news based on the revenue generated from their online efforts.

knowDigital has published its latest findings on this topic after working with focus groups in 3 major markets. Their analysis is helpful in understanding the dilemma facing traditional media companies across the country.

One problem during this transition is that some media companies have not transferred their brand name into the online part of their business. As a result, they need to work hard to develop the brand as one that “consistently delivers on consumer expectations.” One way to do this, according to knowDigital analysts, is to rely less on measuring page views and instead should focus on quality in order to draw traffic.

Publishers also need to find a niche. If a media property’s offline strength has been reporting on local political corruption, the online site could continue to enhance that angle of brand development. This unique angle must also be regularly communicated to consumers. knowDigital research reveals that consumers have not yet formed strong attachments to local online news sites so publishers still have a chance to build a unique brand.

Analysts also commented on the development of sub-​brands. For example, AOL has been trying to build up its Patch​.com brand across the country. For established news organizations, whether it’s radio, TV or newspaper – and those distinctions are likely to blur over time as consumers seek news online – specialty brands targeting specific consumers should be built as independent entities and be allowed to develop their own customer base according to knowDigital.

These changes will take time and money but media companies that get it right can position themselves as profitable enterprises that deliver news online and also generate revenue from marketers.

[Source: Challenges in News Migration to Digital Media. KnowDigital​.com. August 2011. Web. 17 Aug. 2011] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.