James Hewes on the Journalism.co.uk podcast: platforms, revenue streams, and an industry approaching a cookieless future

Last week, FIPP President & CEO James Hewes sat down with Jacob Granger for the latest instalment of the Journalism.co.uk podcast. In a wide-ranging interview, the two talked about the legacy that the pandemic has left on digital media, how to best diversify revenue streams and content platforms, and of course with the demise of cookies now imminent, what’s next for global media… 

“I think agility is probably the most important thing that a management team can have now in a media business,” says James. “There are no sacred cows, you can’t say that this is the way we do things. You’ve got to be flexible and try new things, whilst at the same time recognising that your legacy business, your core business, is the thing that’s providing the profit that enables you to do that. So balancing the old and the new, the existing and the potential, is a really important feature of management.” 

“The classic example in the media business is the difference between print and digital. Your print business is going to be declining in most of its revenue streams – you might  have had a bounce with print subscriptions during the pandemic, but in general your business is going to be declining.” 

“So what do you do? You manage that business for value, you manage it for profit. Your digital business are going to be growing, or they should be growing, so you manage them for growth… You take the profits from your legacy business and invest those into the new areas.”

Exploring the future of media

The issue of where best to put your efforts – and investment – post-pandemic is one that will be explored in full at this year’s FIPP Congress, with a range of ‘shifting strategies’ talks and workshops planned for the event: 

  • Revenue models: Juan Señor and Iñes Bravo review their annual 14 New Business Models, 14 Paywall Models
  • Subscription strategies: Will Page, former Chief Economist of Spotify, will share where he believes publishers went wrong with subscriptions in the past – and his thoughts on how to fix it
  • Advertising: Funke One’s Christian Siebert will tell you how they moved from selling advertising to selling leads – and why it worked
  • Monetising podcasts: Alastair Mackie from The Financial Times shares how they have cracked the code with their podcasts bouquet
  • E-commerce: Jacquie Lock from SJP Content will discuss how content and e-commerce can form a perfect symbiosis, adding to your revenue model
  • AI and printed magazines: Barnes & Noble’s Krifka Steffey and Cover Rocket’s founder Alan Centofante talk about their AI-fuelled market intelligence tool which helps publishers create better-selling magazine covers.

The full episode of the Journalism.co.uk podcast featuring James Hewes is available now across Apple, Spotify, and Souncloud, and you can also listen directly on the Journalism.co.uk website here


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