February 2020

The media industry is still struggling for survival and sustainability, constantly exploring new business models that can achieve this goal. Many industry analysts predict that 2019 will mean less money and more cuts. INNOVATION believes that with a solid revenue diversification strategy, this risk can be mitigated. (However, diversification is not deviation; journalism should remain at the core of any media business.)

New emerging business models that have arisen in the past year can contribute to the refreshment of current business strategies. Each model described has its strengths and weaknesses as well as business risks.

Nevertheless, with an innovation mindset that stimulates exploration and learns from mistakes, media companies can take advantage of these global examples. This article explores these new business models that, according to INNOVATION, offer the most potential for success in the media industry.


As the issue of sustainability becomes increasingly topical – and increasingly pressing – publishers are recognising the need to widen their sustainability agenda and develop businesses that are equipped to meet future challenges.

Sustainability and environmental impact have never been hotter topics.
On a global scale, 2018 was one of the hottest years on record. In fact, 17 of the past 18 years have been the warmest in memory.

Not only is the planet getting hotter, extreme weather-related events including droughts, floods, hurricanes, wild fires and record high temperatures are becoming increasingly commonplace. Add to this species extinction, major concerns around access to water and growing disquiet over poverty and inequality, and it is glaringly evident that the environment and sustainability need to be high on the agenda of both consumers and corporates.

The publishing industry is not immune to this. In fact, as a user of natural resources, though potentially sustainable, responsible publishers today are increasingly asking what their role should be to meet sustainability challenges and with it achieve maximum positive impact.

Some publishers have already put themselves at the forefront of the sustainability debate, driving change beyond merely compliance “box ticking” to meet environmental standards – with some already demonstrable and impressive results.