The model of the new media model

Posted on 03. Oct, 2009 by in Big Media, Broadcast, Networks, News Ecosystem, Revenue

Leo Laporte, creator of This Week in Tech and the TWiT network of podcasts, spoke before the Online News Association this week and presented the very model of the new media company: small, highly targeted, serving a highly engaged public, and profitable. (Full disclosure: I am a panelist on TWiT’s This Week in Google show.)

Laporte said he charges $70 CPMs for ads. Some questioned the $12 CPM we included in our New Business Models for News, though we went with a conservative middle-ground based on the experience of existing local businesses. If we had – as we will – instead forecast a new kind of local news business – highly targeted with a highly engaged public, like TWiT’s – the CPMs and bottom lines would have been exponentially higher. The companies are still small but they are profitable. Laporte said he has costs of $350,000 a year with seven employees now but revenue of $1.5 million and that revenue is doubling annually. It will increase more as he announces new means of distribution (to the TV; he believes that podcasting is too hard for the audience).

Rather than nickel-and-diming current business assumptions, we need to have the ambition of a Laporte and build the new and better media enterprise.

(The video is after this link; it unfortunately plays automatically, so we wanted to get it off the front page).

(Note: Our models were funded by the Knight Foundation.)

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23 Responses to “The model of the new media model”

  1. Guilherme Cherman

    03. Oct, 2009

    Jeff, they only get U$70 CPM because it is in audio/video format, which gets more attention than plain pages. 70CPM for radio shows are not unusual — I believe the big ones like Limbaugh get 100/110 cpm.

    Reply to this comment
    • Jeff Jarvis

      03. Oct, 2009

      Who’s to say that news sites should be web pages? Or shows? Or sites at all? Perhaps they should be, as we’ve been discussing here, hyperpersonal news streams with greater engagement and targeting and thus relevance and value. That’s the point.

      Reply to this comment
  2. Ben Davies

    03. Oct, 2009

    Leo makes the comment that content is king. We used to say that “there is no such thing as a free lunch”. On the internet there is no such thing as a free page view (or advertising click). If an online media outlet is not getting the traffic and ad revenue they need to make a profit, it is probably a good assumption that either their content is uninteresting or that particular market is already saturated.

    Content needs to be interesting by adding value. You can not add value by simply doing the exact same thing as someone else. Too many news media sites talk about the exact same news in the exact same way without adding any value to the mix. The market is saturated. Of course in running such a news media site you will find it hard to make a living.

    My opinion is that each news media outlet needs to understand what they do that adds value and focus on that. Maybe it is unbeatable coverage of a geographic region or niche subject matter. Maybe it is in nurturing a community of people who are engaged and participating in a conversation about the news. Maybe it is creating a network of citizen journalists. I do not think it is having a crossword section.

    Content is king; But too much supply reduces prices. So supply the value that people can not find elsewhere. My 2c.

    Again, nice video.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Mary Ann Halford

    03. Oct, 2009

    Btw, Leo does so well on radio – actually sells out a year in advance – and is now going to daily based on what I learned talking to folks in the know . . . Leo proves that there is tremendous value for his content.

    Reply to this comment
  4. Joe

    04. Oct, 2009

    Reply to this comment
  5. Joe

    04. Oct, 2009

    Doh, scratch that, noscript

    Reply to this comment
  6. Dylan Smith

    15. Oct, 2009

    There are a couple of simple parameters in that embed that you could change to fix the obnoxious autoplay problem.

    Reply to this comment

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