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Why a ‘Netflix for News’ is not going to save journalism

Why don’t we have a flat-rate model for publishing? This proposal by Gruner + Jahr Digital CEO Arne Wolter made publishers in Germany sit up and take notice recently. Behind closed doors, publishers are continuing to heatedly discuss the idea, but I would fundamentally question this approach – a Netflix or Spotify for model for news does not do anyone any justice. A market solution must be able to do more..

How Do You Sell Content to an Audience That Controls the Narrative?

For the past few years, the industry has been working through a regular cycle of taglines and keywords: ‘metered models,’ ‘memberships,’ ‘registration paywalls,’ dynamic paywalls,’ and so on. These have led publishers to leverage a mixture of advertising, paywalls, and subscriptions to generate revenue. The keyword cycle is primed to shift again, and I predict that the industry will now turn to embrace user engagement. And by that, I mean the practice of increasingly giving users what they want, the way they want it, in order to convert readers to paying customers.

Private Browsing Isn’t a Roadblock, It’s a Road Map

With the latest update to Apple’s Safari browser preventing sites from detecting when visitors have private browsing enabled, publishers are once again up in arms that a major platform is rendering their paywalls useless. They’re missing the point. Data privacy is top of mind for most consumers, and the tech platforms are all building off of this movement to evolve their products, just as their audience has evolved. When it comes to building reader revenue, publishers need to take a leaf from Apple’s book - hear what consumers want, adjust to meet their needs and engage with them to generate revenues while also protecting their privacy. 

LaterPay CRO: Make it easy for people to access and pay for content

More online publishers are considering diversifying their revenues, moving away from a reliance on advertising and boosting reader revenues. When it comes to reader revenues, there are a lot of solutions, from paywalls, subscriptions, memberships and more. LaterPay offers a unique flexible paywall that works across publications and lets users pay at a later date. Hal Bailey, Chief Revenue Officer of LaterPay, helped explain what differentiates his solution and what trends he sees in digital media in this Q&A.

Low-friction models gaining traction to supplement subscriptions

While magazine media has shifted to focus on reader revenue streams over the last 18 months or so, the landscape is still fraught with questions and uncertainties. No surprise then that subscriptions have been top of mind for media this year; the subject has been discussed at INMA's Subscription Summit, and snapshotted by FIPP's Global Digital Subscription Snapshot. 

John McKinney Named Chief Technical Officer at LaterPay

NEW YORK,  NY – September 12, 2019 – LaterPay, the industry-leading platform that offers users immediate, frictionless access to content or services without requiring upfront registration or payment, has appointed John McKinney as Chief Technical Officer. As LaterPay continues to expand and scale up its operations in Europe and North America, McKinney will be responsible for managing the end-to-end development process of the company’s suite of technologies. Based in New York, he will report directly to LaterPay Founder and CEO, Cosmin Ene.

“A dynamic leader, John excels at managing his product and technology teams while also  understanding the wider vision for LaterPay as a whole, and we are extremely pleased to welcome him to the team,” said Ene. “John brings with him a deep understanding of our technology and industry but has also demonstrated the ability to work with different teams and company functions to build out efficiencies across multiple groups and disciplines, which will be essential as LaterPay continues to conquer new markets.

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A well-rounded industry veteran, McKinney brings almost 15 years experience in managing diverse teams as well as shepherding companies through the evolution of web technologies. Most recently he has served as CTO of the Boston-based fintech start-up Netcapital as well as the co-founder of [opening riff], a technology investment and consulting group. Earlier in his career, McKinney co-founded Ashe Avenue Development in 2007, specializing in the development of web platforms, native applications, and experiential campaigns, and led the construction of vice.com and other properties for VICE Media. After working for a number of publishing clients, including building multiple lifestyle verticals for AOL.com, Ashe Avenue was acquired by AOL in 2015 and McKinney took on the role of VP of Engineering, AOL Core Products. He holds dual degrees in Computer Engineering and Electrical Engineering from North Carolina State University.

“LaterPay has created a truly unique and empowering industry model - one that has the potential to fundamentally change the way people perform financial transactions online,” McKinney said. “At the same time, that requires a structured and systematic approach to technical development, which is something I look forward to bringing to the team in this new role. I am very excited to be joining the company at such a pivotal moment.”

LaterPay enables publishers to convert users into subscribers at a higher rate than traditional models and helps publishers to earn revenue with single articles and time passes from readers who never will subscribe. By using LaterPay’s solution, digital publishers and service providers can simultaneously expand existing subscription models, increase paying customer bases and improve user experience.

About LaterPay
LaterPay owns patented technology for enabling micropayments without upfront registration, facilitated by the “use now, pay later” approach. This allows users to consume paid content and services on the internet with one or two clicks — without prior registration or having to pay in advance. It is only when the online tab’s $5 limit is reached that users are prompted to register and pay. LaterPay aims to empower content providers to monetize the vast space that lives between ads and subscriptions. www.laterpay.net

Opinion: Google closing the Incognito loophole is an opportunity, not a disaster

Like seeking shelter from the rain under a bridge, building a business model around a loophole is not a long term strategy. Dealing with the aftermath of closing the Google Chrome’s Incognito mode loophole gives publishers the chance to embrace more user-centric models and engage directly with their audience in order to generate revenues from readers while also protecting their privacy.

Rise of the Super Aggregator and the User-Centric Experience

With millions of people using news aggregators daily, they’re here to stay. And your phone’s app store has countless options available, from Flipboard to Feedly to Nuzzel. But we’re now entering the age of the Super Aggregators – for want of a better term – and things look set to change. What will the implications be for publishers?

GEN Summit 2019 — The state of the paywall: Where do we go from here?

The 2019 GEN Summit saw so much positive awareness about how different monetization models can complement subscriptions. Just like at INMA earlier this year, people are paying attention, listening to the arguments being made, and building their own opinions. In this article for Medium, Cosmin Ene shares his own contribution to the debate when he participated in a panel on the future of publishing and paywalls.