Online Business Models
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Online Business Models
Web-Based Business Strategies and Monetization Models
Curated by Robin Good
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Business Models for Journalism: Where The Real Opportunities Are

Business Models for Journalism: Where The Real Opportunities Are | Online Business Models |
Robin Good's insight:

Vincenzo Marino does an excellent reporting job on the International Journalism Festival news site, by summarising and distilling the good stuff emerging from an interesting and sustained debate on Twitter (Business Models for Journalism - Storify) on the state of online journalism and its potential future business models, initially kicked off by entrepreneur and Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen.

Among the highlights, what Andreessen calls “the most obvious eight business models” for now and the future:

1. Quality journalism for high-quality ads

Succeeding in making readers subscribe and pay for value products

3. Premium content worth buying

4. Relying on live conferences and events

5. Investing across multiple channels

6. Crowdfunding ("Gigantic opportunity especially for investigative journalism")

7. Offering the option to pay in Bitcoin for micropayments

8. Keeping an eye on philanthropy (like ProPublica and Pierre Omidyar's First Look Media)

One stratospherically important point to take home from this valuable roundup is the following: 

"The role played by quality, however, is crucial especially when analyzed in the light of the tendency of the market to expand, creating less accurate content.

The challenge is to make a product (or brand) a point of reference, a lighthouse in the night of uncontrolled content and viral hoaxes."

Informative. Resourceful. Insightful. 8/10

Original article: by Vincenzo Marino 

Reading time: 12 mins.

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Minimum Viable Product: Seven Real-World Examples

Minimum Viable Product: Seven Real-World Examples | Online Business Models |

You don’t want to waste your time and money building a product no one will want to use or pay for. So, first get out of the building and talk to your customers. But there’s a world of difference between talk and action.

Robin Good's insight:

To build a new business online, it may prove quite effective to develop minimum viable products of the services your community is asking for, before moving all of your resources and money to build a full-featured and complete version.

Vladimir Blagojevic has curated a selection of seven useful minimum viable products that have been already created, as to provide an inspirational reference to anyone wanting to embark on the same journey.

"A minimum viable product is “that product which has just those features and no more that allows you to ship a product that early adopters see and, at least some of whom resonate with, pay you money for, and start to give you feedback on”.

For each one he has provided a good description of the real-world example, a screenshot and good story-description of how the minimum viabe product was put together.

Resourceful. Instructive. 8/10

Full guide: 

Russell Holcombe, CFP, MTx's curator insight, November 16, 2013 12:48 PM

Great article on testing new ideas in business.

Jason Holman's curator insight, December 29, 2013 8:16 PM

good examples to live lean

Oliver Durrer's curator insight, October 22, 2014 2:22 PM

The notion of "MVP" or "Minimum Viable Product" is a key element of Eric Ries' book The Lean Startup. The idea is to test an MVP with early adopters to reach product-market fit as quickly as possible through real customer feedback and validation of underlying growth and value hypotheses. Avoiding to waste time and resources on developing a product that nobody wants. Still - very surprisingly to me - the number one reason for Startup failure, according to this source:

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The Future of Music Revenues May Actually Not Be in Selling Music

The Future of Music Revenues May Actually Not Be in Selling Music | Online Business Models |

"Even as they have grown, streaming companies have encountered a stubborn problem: Music lovers will consume large amounts of music as long as it is free, but getting them to pay a monthly subscription has proved much more difficult."

Robin Good's insight:

People are more than happy to sign-up for music streaming services, but when it comes to pay for access, very few feel it is something they want to do.

Pandora has for example 70 million users, but only 3 have decided to pay for the Premium version of the service.

While most industry players are attempting to have music fans pay for higher quality audio options and a no-ads experience, it is likely that the future of music monetization will not be anymore in direct music sales.

"Several analysts doubt that streaming companies can attract enough paying customers with only recorded music, citing a sharp drop in music sales over the past decade and abundant free music online. And they say it will be difficult for them to survive on advertising alone."


The key to survival for music producers, whether large or small, may be indeed elsewhere.

"...some see these companies’ success as lying in a so-called subsidy model, in which music sales support another business with higher margins.

Apple, most notably, used low-margin music sales to spur demand for iPods, phones and computers.

Music is an accompaniment, to add to your jog, your workday, your prep in the kitchen,” said James L. McQuivey, an analyst for Forrester Research. “But it’s not something you’re eager to pay for if you don’t have to.

The likely outcome is, as it is already happening, that monetization will come from everything that ranges from events, to merchandising and to collector's items. 

Informative. 7/10

Full article: 

(Image credit: Woman listening to streaming by ShutterStock)

Luke's curator insight, December 16, 2013 6:10 PM

I think this will eventually succeed, once large online platforms like Beatport try it. It might take some time though.

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The Pros and Cons of Paid Content Models

The Pros and Cons of Paid Content Models | Online Business Models |
Do Paywalls Change the Engagement Equation? - The Huffington Post


Jake Batsell seems to think so, saying that while advertising-driven models of digital journalism aim to maximize page views, when news organizations introduce online subscriptions "it reconfigures the benchmarks for success."

Which leads to the question: What are online readers willing to pay for digital content?

It's one of those complex issues troubling publishers, editors and reporters who have to worry about producing enticing content to compete with the plethora of digital fare, and, ensure the success of their revenue streams.

Via Lelio Simi
Robin Good's insight:

Paid Digital Content: The Journey Begins, a report by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA), uses case studies to explain successes, failures and transitions news organizations are experiencing in attempts to get readers to pay for what they consume.