The news business model needs to evolve to take advantage of the digital opportunity. This shift is vital for two business reasons: market share and revenue predictability. That’s why more publishers are using live chat news to stay connected with their audience.
The Top 4 Revenue Challenges Two Revenue Challenges Facing The News Business
Increased competition from non-traditional news sources and social media is just one of the news business’s problems. Many publishers are struggling to earn online revenue.
- Minimal Digital Advertising Revenue. Local TV stations in the US only earned about 7% of their total advertising revenue from digital in 2020, according to the Pew Research Center.
- Election Year Dependence. Many local TV stations tend to earn significantly more revenue in election years than non-election years. That means broadcasters struggle to maintain staffing levels and quality as they ride the revenue rollercoaster.
- Slowing Retransmission Fee Growth. Over the past decade, local TV stations earned billions from retransmission fees (i.e., fees paid by cable and satellite companies to carry local channels). While this revenue source may continue to grow this decade, it is likely to grow at a much slower pace.
- The Rise of Streaming Services. Two streaming services – Netflix and Disney+ – have developed significant audiences in the US and other countries. Every hour customers spend on a streaming service means less attention and revenue for other publishers.
Other news publishers in print, radio, and other media are facing challenges with declining revenue. For example, newspaper circulation in the US has been falling steadily since 1990. Fortunately, some newspapers like the New York Times and Wall St Journal have recovered some ground with digital offerings.
Why Offering Live Chat Boosts Revenue For Publishers
Publishing quality news content online is no longer enough to attract audiences and earn revenue. That’s not the only challenge. There is an increasing challenge with misinformation and fake news more than ever before. For example, 11% of Americans strongly believe that 9/11 was an “inside job” in 2019. By thoughtfully engaging audiences, publishers can achieve two important goals at the same time.
Offering live chat news gives your audience additional reasons to stay on your website and keep coming back. By increasing audience engagement, you can boost your advertising revenue. Best of all, this added revenue requires minimal investments in technology and employee effort.
In addition to growing revenue, publishers can use live chat news events to engage their audiences in thoughtful conversations. A well-considered live chat news event can be done correctly and inspire your audience to think more deeply and become more engaged citizens.
Traditionally, publishers have focused their effort on creating and presenting the news. To engage today’s digital audience, we need to invite the public into the conversation. You can use a live chat news approach to keep audiences engaged.
Getting Started With A Chat News Live Stream
Adding a live chat to news coverage is simple. Follow these guides to install the Arena live chat platform on your website.
Once you have Arena Live Chat installed, you can test your new live chat news internally. For example, you could simulate coverage of an election for 15 minutes with colleagues. During the test, invite some people to participate as journalists while others play the role of the public. Experiencing both sides of a live chat platform is an excellent way to familiarize yourself with the features.
Three Tips To Make The Most of Live Chat News
Launching a live chat platform on your news website only takes a few minutes. Keeping your audience engaged takes more practice. To run successful live chat sessions, keep the following tips in mind.
- Experiment with different times. Different segments of your audience will be available to participate at different times. For example, you might be able to connect with a business news audience during the morning of a major IPO (initial public offering) in the stock market. In that situation, inviting investing experts to add to the conversation can make your chat news live stream more interesting. If attendance and engagement numbers are low, try the other tips in this section to improve the quality of the session.
- Enforce your standards. When you open your virtual doors for a chat news live stream, troublemakers might appear. For example, some people might start cursing in the live chat. To quickly handle those problems, use Arena’s Live Chat, which includes profanity moderation.
- Prepare questions in advance. Even live events like elections and sports games have slow moments. In these moments, your chat news live stream might go quiet. If the chat stays quiet for too long, your audience might leave. Preparing 5-6 questions in advance of running the live chat session will solve this problem.
Is Live Chat News Right For You?
Live chat news is a proven way to make news coverage more engaging. However, it will not help every organization. Three situations make it more challenging to make live chat news work.
- You lack an online audience. For live chat news to work, you need a reasonably large online audience. If your company focuses exclusively on non-digital formats like print, radio, and TV, live chat news might not suit you.
- Technical Skills. Installing live chat news is relatively fast and straightforward. Many customers can install it in just five minutes. That said, it does take some time to learn all of the features. If your staff cannot learn additional digital skills, live chat news may not be a good fit.
Offering a live chat news stream is an excellent strategy for publishers with active websites and a desire to build your digital advertising revenue.
Start Your First Live Chat Event For Free
You can start a live chat event in less than an hour by signing up for the Arena Live Chat free trial. In a few weeks, you’ll have plenty of time to run a few live chat news events and discover if Arena is right for you.