News Media Outlook 2018: The New Economics of Content

05 February 2018

Free for Members

US$795 Value


As technology unhinges the gatekeeper ecosystem, the news media industry confronts its transformation with four unbending pillars: audience, brand, culture, and data. In this report exclusively for INMA members, look across a global landscape at how innovative media companies are attacking value creation and pivoting off its pillars to smartly generate reader revenue and burrow deeply into the emerging economics of content.

Key themes in the report:

  • Trends and strategy behind media transformation
  • Business model innovation and value creation
  • The accelerating role of data at media companies
  • The re-awakening of news brands amid rising skepticism about journalism
  • The rise of digital subscriptions, including culture change opportunities
  • What subscription success is starting to look like

Who should read the report?

Media company executives charged with leading, strategising, innovating, transforming, and seeking new revenue streams and new audiences.


Earl J. Wilkinson, Executive Director and CEO, International News Media Association (INMA)

Detailed overview:

“News Media Outlook 2018: The New Economics of Content” is INMA's exclusive global look at the strategy and trends driving news media's transformation.

The snapshot of a media industry in transition is written by INMA Executive Director and CEO Earl J. Wilkinson who provides an authentic insight into the media-technology intersection based mostly on his personal visits with the world's leading companies.

Since its first release in 2001, the INMA Outlook report has become “required reading” for the leading news media companies charting their strategy through the uncharted tsunami of digital disruption.

The 2018 report synthesises dozens of interviews, sessions, and private interactions to create a narrative of surprising optimism:

  • Strategic direction: Legacy media companies are moving in the right direction, yet at an uneven pace over time. The strategic context of media is changing as consumers drown in information overload.
  • Digital subscriptions: Reader revenue through digital subscriptions and memberships — and the new deep background necessary in acquisition, retention, engagement, and more — is emerging as the brightest possibility to replace departing print advertising in the revenue base. The Outlook report hints at the path forward with subscription stacks.
  • Big Data: Data is richly informing management and editorial decisions as companies aim to produce more content that drives engagement and creates brand value.
  • Brands: In an ecosystem rising in complexity, brands infused with a clear personality aimed at passionate audiences are becoming a strategic imperative.

“News Media Outlook 2018: The New Economics of Content” is punctuated by case studies from Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, and Norway — innovation hot spots that serve as benchmarks for media companies worldwide.

The 114-page report is divided into two parts: strategy and trends, as well as digital subscriptions. The author argues that the importance of reader revenue in the broader subscription economy warrants such an emphasis. Among highlights in the digital subscription section:

  • Get new context on the rise of digital subscriptions.
  • Which models are working in which context (meter, freemium, hybrid).
  • What success looks like.
  • The concept of a subscription stack.
  • How Scandinavia is ground zero for global best practice.

The new INMA report is a strategic document from which media companies can plot their own strategies, comparing and contrasting and localising their unique realities.