Further Reading

This page provides a few key resources on the topic Media Business Models. For a more complete database of resources on this topic, you can consult the evidence base.

Key Resources

Fighting for Survival: Media Startups in the Global South
(A. Schiffrin for the Colombia University SIPA)
This article summarises the findings of 26 interviews conducted with representatives of media outlets in the ‘global South’. It indicates trends, including the continued dependency on grant funding and general lack of capacity for business development and fundraising.
Fragile Finance: The Revenue Models of Oppositional News Outlets in Repressive Regimes (C. Cook)From the abstract: ‘(…) Both media in exile (…) and news outlets in restrictive news environments (…) exist in flawed market situations and often rely on grant funding. This is the first academic study of the revenue streams of these media, providing scarce empirical data and a typology of funding structures of these media. This article examines three main revenue categories: grant funding, earned income and donations. The major factors influencing revenue streams compared to online media start-ups in open markets are discussed. The article finds significant barriers to revenue creation and identifies the need for alternative approaches, particularly partnerships, to promote economic resilience for media under threat.’
Inflection Point. Impact, Threats and Sustainability: A Study of Latin American Digital Media Entrepeneurs
This study is based on interviews with 100 digital media start-ups in four different countries across Latin America. Among the main findings are that ‘entrepreneurial journalists’ are able to develop sustainable business models, that diversifying revenue streams are vital to a sustainable business model, and that a focus on quality content often also means that media do not invest enough in the business side of the organisation.