Detalle Publicación

Looking for the secret formula: how branded content shapes digital-native media's revenue streams

Título de la revista: OBSERVATORIO
ISSN: 1646-5954
Volumen: 16
Número: 4
Páginas: 1 - 22
Fecha de publicación: 2022
In search of profitability, digital media have for years been exploring innovative strategies to produce and finance their content. Specifically, digital-native media, those news organisations that operate solely in digital networks, have generally evolved from an ad-based free content model to multi-revenue stream business models in which formulas like branded content have gained relevance. Drawing upon three cases¿BuzzFeed, Viceand Vox¿, this article analyses the evolution of the business strategies of global digital-native organisations towards multi-revenue streams paying attention to the role of the new forms the commercial content is adopting in this competitive scenario. This article uses a multiple case study approach that examines both relevant news stories (n=1,000) and in-depth interviews with managers and editors (n=7) to understand how the emphasis of these three leading digital-native media brands on branded content formats as a revenue source have impacted their business models. These brands have evolved towards a combination of news and branded editorial content, which is constantly adapted to user behaviour while looking for innovative ways to engage with the audience. Results show that although branded content and other alternative means of revenue have become essential for these digital-native media organisations, they do not provide an ultimate and long-term model.