“Very few newspapers” Could Pull Pay Walls Off: Leonard Brody

“Very few newspapers” Could Pull Pay Walls Off: Leonard Brody
SHARE
THIS



Canadian tech entrepreneur and former NowPublic news site chief executive Leonard Brody is an interesting chap.

Not only is he rewriting the rules of soccer as the proud owner of Coventry City Football Club, he’s also got some forecasts about the ever-changing media landscape.

Brody spoke to B&T about “The Great Rewrite” – how technology has enabled societal and institutional disruption on a mass scale that the entire global operating system is being rewritten, and what it means for the media industry.

“Investigative journalism is going to really suffer,” he said. “What will happen over time is you will have more independent investigative journalism organisations that spring up that are run by charitable trusts.”

He anticipates more alternative funding of investigative journalism in the future, endowed and operated in much the same way as the Public Broadcasting Service in the US, and The Guardian in the UK.

However, when it comes to traditional daily news, Brody predicts an increase in hyper-niche content sites founded by savvy and talented journalists.

Moreover, this would be financially sustainable by using automated advertising rather than reliance on a traditional news organisation sales team, he said.

“I think a journalist – an excellent journalist – has a much better economic case for building his or her own web property,” Brody said.

“While they may get less traffic than they did at their former publication, they will get a much higher frequency of visits and control over topics.”

Leonard Brody

Pictured: Leonard Brody

Brody is a firm believer that free daily news will survive as the media industry evolves.

“I do not think pay walls are the answer,” he said.

“I think the day-to-day news has got to be free, and it has to be a loss leader to create other forms of revenue, whether that is advertising or transactional.

“I do think there are premium types of content news organisations can provide and charge for. Whether that is more research or educational-orientated, I think people will pay for those certain kinds of premium content.”

Brody notes that even The New York Times is still quite a bit open despite its restricted pay wall.

“With The NYT you get ten free articles per period, so if you are a casual reader of The NYT, that is probably good enough for you,” he said.

“I have not looked into The NYT financials in a long time, so I do not know if the pay wall is working.

“They would be the one organisation that could pull off a pay wall because it is such a dominant brand, and the content is so specific – it is almost magazine-like.

“I think there are going to be very few newspapers in the world that can pull pay walls off. Maybe The Washington Post in the US, maybe the Financial Times in Europe. That is probably it, to be honest.”

Brody is a big believer that media organisations need to be more creative in generating revenue and the different types of financial structures that support their news business, and said they are decades behind in generating transactional revenue from their content.

“I believe that one of the big downfalls of traditional media businesses was that they saw themselves as companies that sold products for other people,” he said.

“For example, the travel section of a newspaper was there to provide eyeballs for advertising for people who sold travel, but that should not preclude that same newspaper from having their own online travel businesses to generate reach for themselves.”

According to Brody, this would work “as long as they do not treat themselves anymore more favourably than they would their advertisers”.

Brody also believes a lot of the rewrite from technological advancements is about to hit the professional sports industry.

It may seem unusual at first glance for a Canadian to buy an English football club, Coventry City, but Brody wanted to be involved at the base economic unit of a professional sports club to see the rewrite happen.

“I do not think professional sport is different to any other business, and I think the economics around broadcasting will change,” he said.

Inevitably, Brody said those media rights are going to change as professional sports and broadcasters enter a very challenging environment.

“You are in an environment where it is entirely plausible that the NFL or English Premier League could completely get rid of ESPN and do their own channels or networks,” he said.

“It is also plausible that the value of those media rights deals are going to drop dramatically over time as people realise that they do not need traditional television to watch professional sports.”

Brody said professional sporting club owners need to diversify their revenue base by not being reliant on broadcast rights revenue.

Moreover, they need to get better wallet share from their fan base by bringing the game closer to the fans.

Brody thinks a very different professional sports environment will emerge in the next decade by creating environments and inject points where fans get closer to the game itself using technology to get involved in the actual on-the-field play.

“For example, the movement around fantasy sports is a great business example that the leagues themselves should have been involved in because it was a clear monetisation of the fans’ desire to get closer to the game,” he said.

Brody, a very devoted football fan since his lawyer days as a professional football player agent, thinks that having fans more involved in both team and game level is an excellent paradigm.

“I think fans need to be given the right to inject themselves into game decisions,” he said.

“Whether that is decisions on game day or helping coaching staff, fan engagement needs to be brought to a very new level.”

Leonard Brody will be in Australia next week for CommBank’s Wired for Wonder event.

Please login with linkedin to comment

Advertising Standards Bureau Leonard Brody

Latest News

Coopers Release New & Limited Edition Hazy IPA Via TABOO
  • Campaigns

Coopers Release New & Limited Edition Hazy IPA Via TABOO

Looking to entice a more progressive audience into the Coopers family, Australia’s largest independent brewery has released a limited edition Hazy IPA. The product has launched via a national OOH and digital campaign in collaboration with Melbourne creative agency, TABOO. TABOO is behind the exciting new illustrative can design, inspired by the Australian landscape. The […]

Ben & Jerry Goes Political In ‘Unfudge Our Future’ Campaign
  • Campaigns

Ben & Jerry Goes Political In ‘Unfudge Our Future’ Campaign

Ben & Jerry’s has unveiled their latest limited-edition flavour: Unfudge our Future, to urge Australia’s leaders to tackle climate change by making fossil fuels history. The launch aligns with the Federal Government’s preparation of a history-making economic reboot in the upcoming October Budget, with Ben & Jerry’s joining forces with 350.org Australia and the Climate […]

Celeste Barber Encourages Aussies To ‘Get Your Jugs Out’ In Hilarious BRITA Campaign
  • Campaigns

Celeste Barber Encourages Aussies To ‘Get Your Jugs Out’ In Hilarious BRITA Campaign

BRITA Australia is today proud to reveal its latest national campaign, ‘Get Your Jugs Out’, starring Australian comedian, Celeste Barber. The quirky campaign encourages Australians to make the switch from bottled water to great tasting filtered tap water, using a BRITA filter jug at home, with the creative brought to life with Celeste’s cheeky, yet relatable sense of humour.

Enero Posts Net Revenue Increase Of 4.9%
  • Media

Enero Posts Net Revenue Increase Of 4.9%

Forget 2020's plagues, pestilence and famine says Enero, as balance sheet comes out with sweet smell of potpourri.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
You Can Now Limit Who Can Reply To You On Twitter
  • Technology

You Can Now Limit Who Can Reply To You On Twitter

Twitter is saying ‘bye to the reply guys’, allowing users to control who can reply to their Tweets. ‘Reply guys’ have long been an issue on the social media app, where users (often anonymous) frequently comment on posts in an annoying, condescending or otherwise unsolicited manner. Twitter first put these users on notice in May […]

Home Office Set Up for Webinar and Teleconference whilst respecting the lockdown due to the corona virus outbreak
  • Media

The Virtual Conference Network Launches In Australia

The Virtual Conference Network, an Australian-founded disruptive alternative to video conferencing, has today launched to provide risk mitigation, improved flexibility, new post-event revenue streams, and optimal cost-effectiveness to conference organisers, business leaders and peak bodies. With over 20 years of first-hand experience with the high-risk and costly ways of delivering traditional conferences, co-founders Alex Paine […]

Medallia Appoints Heather Paterson As ANZ Country Manager
  • Advertising

Medallia Appoints Heather Paterson As ANZ Country Manager

Medallia has appointed Heather Paterson as its new ANZ country manager to drive further growth across Australia and New Zealand. With a strong sales performance and leadership background, Paterson joins Medallia as ANZ country manager following more than seven years with leading SaaS financial technology provider, Intralinks, where she was most recently director for Asia […]

IAS And Channel Factory ‘Channel Science’
  • Technology

IAS And Channel Factory ‘Channel Science’

Integral Ad Science (IAS) today announced the launch of “Channel Science”, an industry-leading partnership between Channel Factory and IAS. The Channel Science solution helps advertisers to leverage both companies’ technologies through a single product to ensure their YouTube campaigns are brand-safe, brand-suitable, and performance-optimized.  More than ever before, advertisers are searching for ways to streamline their media buying and improve […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Playing
  • Technology

Google Presses Play On Programmatic Audio

If CV-19's given us anything, it's more podcasts than you could listen to in 1000 lifetimes. Monetise yours with this.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine