If you don’t have revenue, you don’t have a product: It’s one of the first things I tell my clients. With the news media facing extreme economic pressure in many countries, I was keen, in my recent report for the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, to focus not only on editorial innovation but also the commercial innovation that is supporting new formats.
I found news organizations around the world answering the questions of how to monetize radically distributed content strategies, grappling with changes in social media use, and finding a new way to connect with their young audiences when Facebook no longer reached them.
Our goal in the report wasn’t to provide an exhaustive look at all of the forms of content innovation happening, but rather to use the lens of non-article formats to look at how news organizations are creating truly digitally native content. Zeroing in even further, we focused on three general areas of innovation: Radically distributed publishing, conversational interfaces including apps and chatbots, and visual journalism including virtual reality.