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Australian online publishers network executive summary


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A journalism project exploring the viability of establishing a peak body for online publishers and citizen journalists in Australia. For more information, visit

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Australian online publishers network executive summary

  1. 1. Australian Online Publishers Network Business Plan Prepared by Karen Poh, October 2013 For more information, contact
  2. 2. 2 Executive Summary The Company The Australian Online Publishers Network is a not-for-profit peak body representing all online publishers in Australia. The Network will play a critical role in an increasingly complex marketplace by bringing order and sustainable solutions to an evolving and convergent media landscape made up of a myriad of players from bloggers or “citizen journalists” to established new media outlets. As well as advocating and advising on issues and trends affecting the new media industry, the Network will meet the needs of this new and emerging online publishing industry through the provision of other services. These include: ! Training in journalism, business and IT that is relevant to publishers at various stages of maturity; ! One-on-one consulting services aimed at helping new media entrepreneurs, communities, universities and old and new media navigate the changing media landscape in the digital environment; ! A talent agency helping online publishers ready to monetise engage advertisers; ! Publisher and Supporting Member memberships connecting online publishers with each other as well as with the organisations that provide products or services to support the industry; and ! Events for industry to share knowledge, network and celebrate achievements. Market Potential Not only has online overtaken print as the primary medium of news consumption, the Network’s market research shows there is a market for local news. In particular, Australian sites providing local online content are regarded as being more relevant. On the other side of this dual market, companies and advertisers are forecast to increase their investment in digital media advertising as audiences migrate online. While this is so, online publishers, who no longer own the platform or channels for distribution, will need to compete with those who do, such as Facebook and Google. What online publishers can offer to advertisers however, is the opportunity to communicate targeted messages to deeply engaged audiences. According to the IAB PwC Online Advertising Expenditure Report, total online advertising expenditure was $3.6b in 2012-13, of which $954m (26.5 per cent) was attributed to General Display, which includes advertising such as banner advertisements of many different sizes and formats, affiliate marketing programmes, partnerships, sponsorships, emails, video, mobile and social media advertising. As this is a relatively new development, both advertisers and online publishers have little experience working with each other, and knowing what that process should look like. Based on market research and network conversations, we have identified approximately seven discrete customer groups, who have as a priority reaching established bloggers, new and emerging start-ups and small to medium-sized outlets. For more information, contact
  3. 3. 3 Competitive Advantage The Network fills a gap in the market. The issue isn’t just about access - existing services currently don’t meet the unique and various needs of online publishers. The Network adds value by curating and aggregating services, and acting as an intermediary for online publishers and advertisers, as well as businesses providing services to support the industry. The Network’s advantage over other representative bodies will be in its emphasis on revenue optimisation as the core of its mission, helping online publishers monetise at every stage of their development, be it through training and consulting or the Network’s talent agency. In addition, the Network also anticipates the need to address the issue of diversity in media regulation and content standards in a convergent media environment whereby commercial and the non-commercial, mainstream media and citizen journalism, all co- exist in the same online space. A body like the Australian Online Publishers Network will address these needs by raising content standards through training that is relevant to the broad spectrum of online publishers from user-generated content creators to established new media outlets, and encouraging diversity and sustainability by supporting local online publishers in their efforts to monetise. For more information, contact