Forrester: Digital Channel Gives Media Companies New Revenue Stream, But It’s Still Tough to Monetize

Audience use of the Web and mobile to tap into media companies’ content, can be a big benefit – but most organizations still struggle to monetize their digital channel, according to a new e-commerce survey by Forrester Consulting.

The survey of more than 100 media companies revealed that half of them found that their digital channels have boosted paid subscriptions and helped grow both advertising dollars and market share. On the other hand, 62% said their media companies said need to rethink how they serve the online audience in order to become a leading digital content provider. In fact, 49% of respondents said their organizations must “drastically change” to enable e-commerce.

The Forrester study, commissioned by Group Commerce, examined how digital content is monetized in the media industry. According to the report, the biggest surprise is that media companies can’t figure out how to make money in the digital age, even though they have a large opportunity to develop a new stream of revenue.

“Traditional media companies blame the lag time on corporate initiatives that question e-commerce as a revenue stream…[when what] needs to be asked is if they can afford to wait,” the survey said. The Forrester study found that while a majority of media companies are not suffering losses from digitizing their content, they have yet to convert that into a promising revenue stream.

It also revealed that e-commerce marketplaces are perceived as much more compelling profit opportunities for media companies than daily deals. (For more information contact: (Forrester Consulting, 617-613-6000, www.forrester.com/consulting; Forrester Research, 617-613-5730, www.forrester.com; Group Commerce, 646-692-8000, groupcommerce.com.)

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