We launched The Keywee Facebook CPC Tracker to help content creators understand how changes to the Facebook platform affect their daily work, based on our analysis of data from hundreds of publishers.
Each month we release new data along with relevant insights on content distribution. You can read past months’ updates here.
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The digital media industry is constantly evolving, and in October we witnessed some interesting developments as publishers continue to find new ways to diversify their revenue streams and drive meaningful content to loyal subscribers.
Back in April, Financial Times hit its goal of reaching a million paying readers. In October, the company took new steps to increase their readership two-fold by applying a new subscriber-only business model to its previously-free podcasts. With this change, the London-based outlet hopes to cultivate a loyal listenership while also generating additional revenue through this subscriber incentive.
Recent developments in the current US political climate have served as an opportunity for publishers to further engage their audiences. NBC News, Vox Media, and WNYC Studios are among the many publishers that are launching political reporting and discussion podcasts in order to drive audiences to listen and, ultimately, convert to paying subscribers. In other streaming news, Marvel announced a multi-year agreement with Sirius XM and Pandora to create exclusive original storytelling podcasts featuring well-known Marvel characters. Thanks to Marvel’s global popularity, this partnership will likely drive a sizable amount of listeners to Pandora and Sirius XM as they compete for subscribers with other popular streaming services in the rapidly growing podcast industry.
Although the subscription-based model has always been prevalent, lately content creators are pushing even harder to increase their numbers of paying subscribers. Namely, The Economist is working to convert its million YouTube subscribers into paying members by actively posting a variety of new, high-quality videos on its channel. This strategy is meant to increase genuine interaction as well as drive people back to the company’s site, where they hope to convert these viewers in a bid to drum up reader revenue. Meanwhile, Medium, the online publishing platform, has integrated a new model that rewards quality writing by basing compensation for content creators on the amount of time users spend reading their work. By calculating session duration rather than clicks, Medium can determine which articles interest their subscribed readers most and create more content to suit their taste — and attract new, paying subscribers.
Since engaging content is key for driving reader loyalty, platforms are working to aggregate news from a myriad of publishers to encourage audiences to use their platforms as their main news source. By being a content distributor for different publishers, platforms can present a range of different opinions and tones to a vast user base. The Japan-based app, SmartNews, announced its plans to pay publishers to feature their headlines and platforms. Facebook announced its new News tab, in which it plans to display original reporting from local publications in addition to top, nationally-known publishers. Meanwhile, CNN revealed that a news aggregator app, NewsCo, is in the works.
A recent partnership between Starbucks and The Wall Street Journal represents an effort to democratize news for non-subscribers. The Seattle-based coffeehouse chain pulled all printed newspapers from their stacks and has announced that Starbucks customers can now access free digital news, like USA Today or New York Daily News, by logging onto their (also free) WiFi. The move from print is part of an effort to entice new readers in a digital age and present them with a modern way to access the outlets’ reporting. For The Wall Street Journal, hope is that this partnership will encourage Starbucks customers to become habitual readers and integrate these publications into their daily routines.
In October we saw a 5% decrease in CPC prices. The beginning of October also signaled the start of Q4, and CPC prices are usually the lowest during the first month of each quarter. That said, we can expect that CPCs will quickly begin to rise as the holiday season gets into full swing. Generally speaking, since CPCs relatively low at the beginning of the month, we recommend taking risks and testing new content during this time.
At Keywee, we make stories relevant and powerful for the world’s best storytellers — like The New York Times, The BBC, National Geographic, Forbes, and Red Bull.
Today, people aren’t coming to websites to search for content — stories find their audiences in feeds and apps. The upshot? Distribution is now the key for effective storytelling. Keywee’s platform unlocks audience insights using AI and data science, and infuses them into every step of the storytelling process: from topic selection, to story creation, to distribution and optimization.
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