Futures Lab Video #139: Theme Weeks and Mobile Revenue Streams

    by Reuben Stern
    February 12, 2016
    A screenshot from this week's Futures Lab video.

    This story first appeared on RJI’s Futures LabReporting by Katy Mersmann and Berkeley Lovelace.

    This week we find out how two organizations engage digital audiences via week-long special coverage; and we explore some ways to generate revenue on mobile.

    "Many predicted that the paywall would never work, [but] more people have chosen to pay than many predicted." - Rasmus Kleis Nielsen


    PART 1: Theme weeks at BuzzFeed and Motherboard

    Online news outlets are embracing the concept of “theme weeks,” focusing large amounts of their regular coverage onto single topics. We find out how BuzzFeed and Motherboard (operated by Vice Media) engaged their audiences by coordinating text, video, social media and visual content around specific theme.
    [To skip directly to this segment in YouTube, click here.]


    • BuzzFeed’s Mental Health Week coverage was assembled on a single web page in addition to having been featured across the site and via social media channels. An Editor in Chief Ben Smith explains, the coverage included “more than 100 posts across five languages, as well as 30 videos.”
    • Motherboard’s overall focus on science and technology has prompted theme weeks on topics like theoceans and sleep.

    PART 2: Mobile revenue

    Although no one seems to have solved the challenge completely, Rasmus Kleis Nielsen, director of research at the Reuters Institute at the University of Oxford, walks us through some of the approaches news organizations have taken to make money from their mobile efforts.
    [To skip directly to this segment in YouTube, click here.]


    Reuben Stern is the deputy director of the Futures Lab at the Reynolds Journalism Institute and host and co-producer of the weekly Futures Lab video update.


    The Reynolds Journalism Institute’s Futures Lab video update features a roundup of fresh ideas, techniques and developments to help spark innovation and change in newsrooms across all media platforms. Visit the RJI website for the full archive of Futures Lab videos, or download the receive email notification of each new episode.


    Tagged: buzzfeed mobile revenue motherboard paywalls rji rji futures lab

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