Sustainable business models for online media of any kind aren’t easy to come by, but for those attempting to fund quality news content with advertising alone, the chances of maintaining one are looking increasingly slim.

The challenges facing ad-funded newsrooms are numerous, and they continue to mount. For one, online advertising isn’t getting any easier. As programmatic ad technology helps drives down ad prices — and as the triopoly (troika? trinity? triad?) of Google, Facebook and Amazon continue to suck up a greater portion of advertisers’ budgets — publishers are being required to run faster and faster just to stay in the same place. Growing audiences can help offset some of those ad challenges to a degree, but ultimately there’s a finite market for the content they produce.

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