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By Thomas Baekdal - January 2018

Newsletter: The Challenge of 'Owning' Our Distribution

This is an archived version of a Baekdal/Basic newsletter (it's free). It is sent out about once per week and features the latest articles as well as news and trends about the media industry. If you want to get the next one, don't hesitate to add your email to the list.

In this edition:

A Guide to Pricing Strategies for a Sport Site

One of the challenges that I often come across with traditional publishers is that everyone is pricing their sites the same way. It doesn't matter what the focus is, what the content is about, or what the audience is actually doing, everyone uses the same pricing strategy.

This often creates a big problem. By locking yourself into a single pricing model, you lose all the flexibility that you would need to stand out, to grow and, more importantly, to upsell people.

So in this 36-page Plus Report, we are going use Eurosport as a case study for how they could change their current very basic model into something that has much flexibility and potential.


Worth repeating: The Media Trends to Care about in 2018-2023 ... my report of the most important things publishers should focus on in 2018.

Restarting the focus on 'owned' distribution

Now that Facebook has finally admitted that publishers aren't that important to them, we (the media) have also come to the realization that chasing reach on other people's platforms is not really the future. But this, of course, opens up a much bigger question, which is: What the heck do we do then?

The answer, of course, is that we 'own' our distribution, which is much easier said than done.

I will go into this in much greater detail in an upcoming Plus report, but let me just quickly share a few points.

Distribution has two critical elements.

One element is 'how do we distribute something?' Do we ask people to come to us? (Homepage / apps) ... or do we come to people? (Newsletters, etc.) ... Or do we create a hybrid where we come to people, but within our owned controlled space? (Notifications, etc.) ... or could we create an entirely new distribution space that is designed for what we need?

These are all really critical questions that all ties into this first element of 'how do we do this?'

The second element is what kind of impact a chosen distribution form has on our editorial focus, format and approach. You can't just take the same content and distribute it in all these different ways, because they are not linked to the same type of consumption, intent, moment or feel.

Even within single distribution forms, we have a massive difference in focus.

For instance, an email newsletter is read very differently in the morning, when people are just glancing through their inbox over breakfast, compared to later in the day when they pick out your newsletter to read.

Those are two completely different moments, and we can't just cramp the same content into them and hope to succeed. That's never going to work.

So, fixing this 'crisis' that publishers now face is going to be 20% about how to do it, and 80% about changing our editorial focus.

On top of all this, we also have the problem with the 'trend of convenience'. I have talked about this many times before. The trend of convenience dictates that if there is a more convenient way to do something, people will choose that ... even if it isn't as good.

The problem for publishers is that we also often make it more inconvenient to use. For instance, asking people to come to us (visit the home page) is massively inconvenient, unless you can turn that into a habit that people do every day.

And, your ability to do that depends entirely on how valuable you are on a daily basis. I, for instance, can't do this on because I only post once or twice per week. So I'm never going to convince people to come to me as a habit.

So, fixing the distribution problem is going to require a massive rethinking of the editorial approach. The old days of the newsroom just doing their own thing while the business side figured out where to put it is long gone.

In the future, we have to design for the moments we want to be in.

This is an archived version of a Baekdal/Basic newsletter (it's free). It is sent out about once per week and features the latest articles as well as news and trends about the media industry. If you want to get the next one, don't hesitate to add your email to the list.


The Baekdal/Basic Newsletter is the best way to be notified about the latest media reports, but it also comes with extra insights.

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Thomas Baekdal

Founder, media analyst, author, and publisher. Follow on Twitter

"Thomas Baekdal is one of Scandinavia's most sought-after experts in the digitization of media companies. He has made ​​himself known for his analysis of how digitization has changed the way we consume media."
Swedish business magazine, Resumé


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