Do we know what business are we in?
When I start working with a media company, I usually ask this question. We usually think we are in the content business—and surely, content is the lifeblood of our products.
But more often, we operate in a relationships business: it's the powerful connections we establish with our audience, by offering services that help people solving a real problem - from getting news relevant to their community to being entertained, to learning something useful for their life - that are the main ingredient of every media company's successful recipe.
This is why when I build a new revenue strategy for a digital product, I always keep the users’ perspective in mind. In the last few years I’ve worked with companies such as Il Sole-24 Ore, Forbes, Vice, Cartography, Collater.al and more to explore new ways to monetise their content online.
In 2012 I co-founded Il Mitte, a magazine for Italian people living in Berlin and Germany; I sold it three years later, when it was profitable. And today, after receiving funding from the Google Digital News Initiative, I’m building a new kind of paywall that helps publishers in monetising their readers’ attention and most meaningful interactions, by offering discounts and incentives.