#93 — Coronavirus has shown us that the news industry needs to change

Welcome to our new subscribers 👋🏼As we navigate these unprecedented times, we’ve considered whether we should pause this newsletter for a while.

The last thing we want to do is add more unwanted noise. But since the subscribers keep growing every week, it feels like we should continue sharing our curation of the most relevant stories about the future of independent publishing. We hope you find it helpful.

Remember, you can always hit reply to start a conversation and let us know what you want to see more of.

Stay safe & take care! ❤️

💯 Top picks

More valuable than ever, but less revenue: Coronavirus has shown us that the news industry needs to change

“The value of news to its primary audience is highest, but the ability to generate revenue to news publishers is at its lowest. How can we fix this?”

💸 Business models

Slate launches a metered paywall to draw more membership revenue from readers, not just listeners

“Up till now, Slate has provided almost all of its written work for free. But going forward, we think the way we will truly thrive is by continuing to diversify our revenue — by asking readers like you to support us more directly.”

Launching a membership model “at a time of reckoning for the media industry”

gal-dem started as a voluntary organisation almost five years ago - but they have now asked their audience to give back for the first time with a new membership model.

More creators than ever are sharing their work on Patreon

Patreon’s data science team share some insights of a platform-wide behaviour change starting on Friday March 13th, with a record amount of new creators joining the platform.

“In short, this moment in time is one of the strongest influxes of memberships that we’ve ever seen. And the message from the data is clear: membership works.”

What publishers can learn from The Independent’s growth story

“The Independent is now one of the most profitable newspapers in the UK. It’s a significant achievement for a company that had to stop print and go digital-only in 2016, to survive.”

Despite relaxing paywalls, publishers like Bloomberg, WSJ and The Atlantic see subscription spikes

“Publishers are seeing a spike in subscriptions over the last four weeks in the U.S. and Europe, fueled by readers’ appetite to stay as informed as possible during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.”

✍️ Modern journalism

What will the coronavirus pandemic mean for the business of news?

“A lot of news media won’t make it but this is an opportunity for some” – Reuters Institute Director Rasmus Nielsen explores what the coronavirus pandemic means for news in the long run.

Do news sites have an ethical duty to remove paywalls on coronavirus coverage?

“News organisations have spent years trying to get audiences to pay for news. Do they have a duty to offer COVID-19 coverage free for the public good?”

What do sports journalists do when there are no sports to cover?

From high school to the pros, the games that filled sports sections have nearly all been called off. “We don’t have a guidebook on how to cover sports when sports aren’t being played.”

👩‍💻 Technology

YouTube to limit video quality around the world for a month

To ease internet traffic while many people are staying at home, YouTube will now play video in standard definition by default.

Big tech could emerge from coronavirus crisis stronger than ever

“Amazon is hiring aggressively to meet customer demand. Traffic has soared on Facebook and YouTube. And cloud computing has become essential to home workers.”

How journalists can work from home securely

“When journalists are forced to work from home, there’s a lot the newsroom can do to support them. Likewise, there’s a lot that indiviudal journalists can do to upgrade their personal security posture when working remotely.”

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