While the percentage of their revenue coming from print continues to shrink, media companies can grow by taking advantage of “four forces” in the marketplace, said Chuck Richard, VP-lead analyst at Outsell Inc., who delivered the keynote address at Media Business' Digital Directions Day.
Noting the aggregate decline in the share of print revenue—from more than 55% in 2003 to an expected 29% in 2011—Richard said media companies can still achieve growth by capitalizing on what he called “four forces”: Marketing services for advertisers, such as Web site design campaign management and lead scoring; the continuing interest in cross-media products, including offline products; profitable new audience development through analytics and application programming interfaces (APIs); and paid content, which he called “a huge, parallel business opportunity” to today's largely advertiser-supported model.
On the last point, Richard made it clear he wasn't only speaking about an incremental boost in paid sub-scriptions, which have crept up as a revenue source from 21.7% of total revenue in 2003 to 23.5% today. In-stead, he emphasized how research and data services are important to small and large companies alike.
One of Richard's more interesting observations concerned audience development opportunities for media companies.
Traditional b-to-b trade publishers, living in the world of 40,000 or 60,000 controlled-circulation audiences, are “surrounded by much larger, concentric rings” of potential audiences, he said. One efficient way to reach these untapped audiences is through technology, specifically self-service APIs that automate the syndication of content to other media outlets, he said. M