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Valuing the relationship between platforms, publishers and people who read news

We just released the News Ecosystem Report today. Our latest research includes data and insights including traffic and revenue figures for the news industry in Europe. The PDF report is free to download: https://survey.kaleida.com/


The inspiration for this research came from the growing tensions we’ve observed between news publishers and the big Internet platforms. Many publishers believe platforms are using content unfairly to grow, while the platforms believe publishers are getting a lot of benefit from traffic directed toward news.

In our work with news media at Kaleida we often wonder if both sides have inflated views of what the other is getting in this relationship. Maybe neither side is co-dependent. Maybe the value of coexisting on the same medium is worth more than the costs of fighting each other.

We’ve collected and analysed data from several different types of sources and used a few different techniques to look at the wider news ecosystem and to ask these questions. Our aim was to build the foundations for what we hope becomes useful insights for everyone.

For example, we show in the report how we calculated the value of a single visit to news. We estimate a visit to news is worth approximately 7 tenths of a cent or €0.007.

While that may seem disturbingly small the numbers publishers are achieving today are phenomenal. We estimate there were over 7 billion visits to news articles in Europe in January. And the opportunity for that number to grow is palpable. In a survey conducted for us by YouGov we found that people who read news click on 32% of the headlines they see. That means there were approximately 23 billion “News Exposures” in Europe during the period, headlines seen on 3rd party sites.

Those figures make it possible to estimate market value. For example, we found that total digital ad revenue driven off referral traffic to news articles was approximately €53M in Europe in January which is about 1/3 of the total monthly digital ad market for news.

That suggests to us that the platform-publisher relationship is actually working. Referral traffic creates a lot of value, but the news business is capable of operating without it if it had to.

If platforms and publishers looked at their relationship to each other through the eyes of their core customers — the people who read news — they might find that not only are things currently working well in many ways but that there’s a huge opportunity to make the news ecosystem stronger and more productive for everyone.

We produced this report independently with help from supportive partners (YouGov), valuable data providers (comScore and PwC) and smart people (Dr François Nel, Dr Coral Milburn-Curtis, Dr Gabriel Hughes, Rev Dan Catt, Laura Doward) who are amazing with data, numbers and the issues facing news publishers in Europe. The sponsor of the project is Google. Their support was supplied in good faith and without it we would not be able to present these fascinating results.

Please do share the report. It is intended to help the whole media market, publisher and platform alike. Download it here: https://survey.kaleida.com/




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