Why publishers don’t need to invest in a website of their own
There are plenty of news platforms out there to get your message across.
We like, we share, we comment, we tweet, we instagram. 73% of all Americans used social networks even in 2013. These days, we are more connected than ever before. Media should adapt to this, too. The users don’t just read one newspaper, not just one website but many different ones. They just read what they believe to be especially interesting wherever it’s covered best. We, the media, should accept this. Users don’t just read our website — and that’s great.
Particularly, if we don’t have a website at all. Notably smaller magazines and newspaper are afraid to build their own website. They fear the cost and effort of setting up an online presentation. But platforms like Apple News are built to enable an easy start even for the smallest newspaper. The companies providing these platforms have much experience in delivering a great user experience — this affects the editor-tools, too. You don’t need much knowledge any more to publish articles.
Another advantage is that it is free to publish there. This makes it worth a try, because you can leave the platform without having lost any money. And if you want to publish on several platforms, you can easily buy a tool which allows you to do exactly this if your first tests with one platform were positive.
But also bigger publisher can profit from news-platforms. Platforms unite many different newspapers and magazines. So the reader doesn’t need to know you, but just needs to know one of the platforms you publish on. This is especially great for smaller newspapers. No matter if you are the New York Times or a provincial newspaper: you are shown in the same place and read in the same breath. Algorithms recommending suiting articles can show articles of a little magazine next to a reportage of USA Today. This can generate thousands of readers for smaller publishers. For example, over 70 million people use Apple News. This is almost as many as Germany has citizens. That pure amount of people can now find your articles easily. This allows even small newspapers to reach out to a great number of reader and thus generate higher revenues. Particularly because you often get 100% of all advertisement incomes if you are marketing the advertising places yourself and at least a large part if you allow the platform to find advertisers for your articles.
But you won’t only profit in financial terms if you use news-platforms. Especially your authors will thank you. They don’t have to struggle with your own software and a semi-working CMS. The articles don’t need to be adapted to all device categories in order to look great, which by the way is unlikely to happen if you do it by yourself. The articles don’t need to be registered in your CMS which nobody understands anyway because an external company built it a long time ago and nobody has ever heard of them again since.
If you publish on external platforms, your authors can concentrate on what they can do best: writing. They can use editing tools that are designed to make it as easy as possible for them. And making an awesome design for all platforms? No problem at all. Companies providing those platforms have large departments to make them work — and to let your design look stunning on every device. This allows small newspapers to reach out to the internet in much the same way as bigger players can.
Of course, on those platforms, competition is much harder. But the opportunities are much greater, too. It’s the same here as everywhere else: Who dares, wins.