Skip to main content

Growing numbers of publishers are turning more attention to revenue diversification in the wake of Covid-19, which dealt a blow to ad sales earlier this year. We examine this trend in our recently-commissioned Adweek report, Combined Revenue Models Gaining Traction in Media Industry, and discuss how media companies plan to overcome the challenges associated with establishing blended revenue models.

For example, disparate data in siloed departments and systems presents a major issue for publishers, as illustrated in the following chart. In this article, we’ll explore the reasons why, and offer a few solutions.

Disparate data: top 3 challenges

Achieving internal alignment

Introducing a new revenue stream into your business, or even expanding on an existing one, is no small feat. Publishers who choose to shift to subscription-based models must recognize that many internal departments will need to participate in this transition, which can be difficult to steward smoothly due to competing priorities and varying departmental cultures, among other factors. 

Consolidating data

This challenge should not be underestimated; and is especially problematic considering that internal silos contribute greatly to disparate data. In Adweek’s research for our Combined Revenue Models Gaining Traction in Media Industry report, publishers alluded to the level of collaboration they’ve seen, or expect to see, between internal departments as they shift toward increasing their subscription revenue. The report reveals how many respondents feel their departments are “fully collaborating” versus “mostly collaborating.”

First-party data is in high demand nowadays, as publishers and advertisers alike face an ever-tangled web of data privacy legislation and competition from Big Tech for advertising dollars. This reality means it’s more important than ever for publishers to keep their data clean and accessible for their employees to use.

Although it may not be anywhere near as exciting as launching a new content series, consolidating data is a challenge that publishers must tackle to increase their revenue to its full potential.

Leveraging technology

Siloed departments and messy databases are only part of the problem when it comes to disparate data. Clunky, end-of-life technology also plays a major role in media organizations’ data woes.

Your marketing and sales tech should support your revenue goals, not slow you down. Getting out of the weeds of error-prone manual reporting and other technology challenges is crucial for any publisher who wants to leverage data sources from across their business to implement a new revenue model.

Disparate data: top 3 solutions

Promoting interdepartmental collaboration

As the chart above highlights, there are several challenges that range from minor to major when it comes to increasing subscription revenue. Solving these problems will require strong interdepartmental collaboration. As a publisher, you should strive to foster collaboration between your ad sales and audience teams so they can establish a common language around your media organization’s data, including how it’s collected. For example, ad sales and audience or marketing teams must work together to help eliminate organizational silos and enable media companies to squeeze the most juice possible from their data. Sales teams are on the front lines in the quest to win new business, and audience or marketing teams can offer them rich insight based on strong knowledge of audience preferences, which offers high value to advertisers.

Keeping your data clean 

It may sound like a chore, but trust us, the database audit is your friend. It’s essential to have all of your customer data in one organized location. If this sounds like your current situation, kudos to you! However, if you know your data isn’t as tidy as it should be, you’re not alone.

Completing a database audit (and keeping your data clean afterward) will make it easier for your media company to trace how your data is used, and to ensure it remains secure. In addition, from a revenue perspective, you’ll have a better chance of attracting and retaining advertisers if you can provide accurate audience targeting using solid data.

Partnering with technology vendors

Changing your company culture and wrangling wayward data may seem overwhelming, but you don’t have to face these challenges alone. If you have the budget, partnering with a trusted third-party vendor that offers a complete data management solution, including data-sharing capabilities, is a wise move.

For example, a customer data platform (CDP) may be the right fit for your organization. This comprehensive consumer database solution helps publishers drive revenue by connecting with other marketing technology, storing detailed customer information, and simplifying data privacy compliance.

Or, you may opt for a media sales solution like Lineup’s Amplio system. Amplio enables publishers to bring their advertising and subscription customer data into one platform to make smarter conversion decisions overall.

Read the full report: The Future of Combined Revenue Models

Deepening your knowledge of the media industry landscape is one of the most effective ways to ensure your organization can keep up with rapid change. To learn more about the challenges facing publishers transitioning to subscription models, and explore various solutions, download the full Adweek report.

Afton Brazzoni

Afton helps B2B companies serve their audiences with captivating, refreshing, effective clarity through storytelling. She brings 12 years of experience in marketing and communications, with a background in journalism, to her mission to deliver clients excellent content that drives their businesses forward. Afton has extensive experience developing strategies and content for growth-oriented organizations such as technology companies, higher education institutions and the tourism industry, as well as for entrepreneurs.