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Article

Funding Sustainable Online News: Sources of Revenue in Digital-Native and Traditional Media in Spain

1
Department of Marketing and Media Management, School of Communication, Universidad de Navarra, 31009 Pamplona, Navarra, Spain
2
Department of Journalism, School of Communication, Universidad de Navarra, 31009 Pamplona, Navarra, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Mark Anthony Camilleri
Sustainability 2021, 13(20), 11328; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132011328
Received: 31 August 2021 / Revised: 26 September 2021 / Accepted: 8 October 2021 / Published: 14 October 2021
Digital news publishers strive to balance revenue streams in their business models: as standard advertising declines, alternatives for sustaining digital journalism arise in the forms of sponsored content, user donations and payments—one-off purchases, subscriptions or memberships, public or private grants, electronic commerce, events and consulting. An exhaustive study found 2874 active online news publications in Spain, and it observed the adoption of such models in early 2021. Advertising remains the most popular source of income for digital news operations (85.8%) and most sites rely on just one or two revenue streams (74.5%). We compare the cases in our census by their origin (digital-native or non-native), geography (local/regional or national/global) and topic scope (generalist or specialized). We find that traditional, national and specialized online media have a broader and more innovative revenue mix than digital-native, regional or local and general-interest news outlets. The comprehensiveness of this pioneering study sheds light for the first time on the risk that the lack of diversification and innovation in funding sources may imperil the financial sustainability of some online news operations in Spain, mostly those with a smaller scope and no backing from a traditional business, according to the results we present here. View Full-Text
Keywords: media economics; digital economy; revenue streams; digital-native media; news websites; digital publishing; news organizations; paywall; crowdfunding media economics; digital economy; revenue streams; digital-native media; news websites; digital publishing; news organizations; paywall; crowdfunding
MDPI and ACS Style

Vara-Miguel, A.; Sánchez-Blanco, C.; Sádaba Chalezquer, C.; Negredo, S. Funding Sustainable Online News: Sources of Revenue in Digital-Native and Traditional Media in Spain. Sustainability 2021, 13, 11328. https://doi.org/10.3390/su132011328

AMA Style

Vara-Miguel A, Sánchez-Blanco C, Sádaba Chalezquer C, Negredo S. Funding Sustainable Online News: Sources of Revenue in Digital-Native and Traditional Media in Spain. Sustainability. 2021; 13(20):11328. https://doi.org/10.3390/su132011328

Chicago/Turabian Style

Vara-Miguel, Alfonso, Cristina Sánchez-Blanco, Charo Sádaba Chalezquer, and Samuel Negredo. 2021. "Funding Sustainable Online News: Sources of Revenue in Digital-Native and Traditional Media in Spain" Sustainability 13, no. 20: 11328. https://doi.org/10.3390/su132011328

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