An analysis of 69 journalism startups in 10 countries finds no Holy Grail, but a lot of revenue ideas in action.
Many journalists invest their future hopes in the idea of the paywall — the notion of readers paying directly for access to online content sounds tempting for an industry struggling to find revenue. But finding journalistic startups who make a profit by selling original content directly to an audience is a challenge.
Our international research project, Sustainable Business Models for Journalism (submojour.net), built case studies of 69 startups in 10 countries and found only a handful startups where charging for content was a significant part of their business model.
So if it’s not paywalls, how are the world’s journalistic startups making money online? Our research project looked for answers from three continents. We found that revenue sources differed quite remarkably from country to country — an indication that there are lessons to be learned across boundaries.