A third way for news
Guardian Media Group pulled in more revenues from digital than from traditional print in the past year. And that meant the publisher’s operating losses have now declined two-thirds over the last two years, from £57m to £19m, with operating breakeven likely in the current financial year.
The Guardian doesn’t use a paywall but instead leans on voluntary subscriptions from supporters. GMG, which also owns the Observer, now has 570,000 such members, up from 500,000 at the end of last year.
GMG chief executive David Pemsel says he was advised to put up a paywall but opted instead for the contributions model that had now created a ‘third way to pay for quality journalism’.
Digitally, the focus is also on The Guardian’s 10m regular online readers rather than on doing deals with Facebook Instant Articles or Apple News to build up traffic.
“The danger of just chasing reach is you lose sense of the fact that these are just individuals,” says Pemsel.
Image: Steve Mullins