World Association of News Publishers

The 6 Pillars of Growth – Driving Digital Revenues

The 6 Pillars of Growth – Driving Digital Revenues


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In his foreword to the report, Ben Shaw, former Director of Global Advisory, WAN-IFRA, writes as follows:

"Dear Colleagues around the world,

"During my time as Chief Digital Officer for Shaw Media (USA), I was constantly enticed with the 'next new thing'. There was the possibility that a local Groupon clone would save us. It didn't. Surely all we needed to do was launch an app and we could stop printing the paper, right? Wrong. And today there are still so many promising projects to pursue. What about native advertising? What about video? What about paywalls? Guess what? None of them are going to save you. That's right, none of them.

"All of us want to build a sustainable digital business model for quality journalism. And to succeed at that we don't only need the right people, in the right positions, we need also to guarantee that they have been empowered with the right knowledge to make that happen.

"We must see each of these very real opportunities for what they are. Promising tactics, but not a substitute for carefully planned, tenaciously executed strategy. While none of these alone will save us, building a strategic, deliberate pipeline of new projects in tandem will sustain the growth we need.

"But where should you begin? As I work with news publishers around the world, I hear that digital revenue growth continues to be uneven. And particularly in the American and European markets, the pace of growth has still not matched the decline of print.

"After helping and learning from hundreds of the best media companies, our WAN-IFRA Global Advisory team has collected a considerable number of insights into the state of the art in digital media.

"Together with our team of consultants, industry experts and leading publishers, we have identified six key pillars that publishers have to get right to ensure a successful digital media operation. We used each of these areas as a pillar on which to build our new online learning platform, the Media Management Accelerator, and we have expanded further on them here in this report.

"These six pillars are:

  • strategically diversified digital revenue sources,
  • digital paid content,
  • understanding current advertising formats and marketplaces,
  • advertising sales strategy and execution,
  • a business focused data strategy, and
  • a culture of innovation.

"These six pillars will no doubt be implemented in many ways based on company and market dynamics, but one thing is sure, without each of these present, publishers will not see the digital growth that is needed to sustain our industry."

Gregor Waller, Kalle Jungkvist, Matt O’Neill, Peter Lamb, Ben Shaw, Robb Montgomery


WAN-IFRA's picture



2017-06-19 15:22

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