InnovationXchange 2018 Recap

I had the privilege of hosting a productive innovationXchange roundtable in Ft. Lauderdale this February. Attendees included an intimate group of senior executives from Alliance member properties. Alliance communications, membership, research and public policy staff presented and facilitated the various segments of the event.

During the 1½-day meeting, we moved the conversation forward on a number of fronts related to digital innovation, including revenue growth and payment models; subscriber growth and retention; metrics; alternate revenue streams and more:

  • VP, Public Policy Danielle Coffey provided an update on the Alliance’s ongoing discussions with key tech platforms. More information about the Digital Dialogue can be found here.
  • Director Research & Insights Rebecca Frank presented a report highlighting the shifts in consumer preferences and strategies newspaper publishers are employing to take advantage of it to grow their digital subscribers. To view the report, click here. (Member login required)
  • VP, Membership & Business Development Michelle Harris gave a Member Engagement Update.  The Alliance team is implementing the 2018 membership engagement plan to standardize membership activities around defined communities including CEO’s and their senior executives through 4 content channels (Innovation, Policy, Research and leadership).
  • I provided a recap and future plans for the award winning Support Real News campaign. The group was looking for a way to become more aware of all efforts surrounding trust in media.
    • We’ll also be following up with a compilation of various trust initiatives so publishers know who owns what and what is needed to get involved. That compilation will be distributed to the group and the membership.

We spent a portion of the day in a rapid-fire session focused how we can innovate in the areas of driving reader revenue.
Subscription rates:

  • Trails in member markets have shown billing increments of 4 weeks allowed for less intimidating price increases than once a year billing.
  • Vindicia a subscription service vendor was discussed amongst the group.


  • Members looking to experiment with dynamic metering based on content type and consumption.
  • Experimenting with metering the homepage.
  • How to deal with incognito mode.
  • How the Wikipedia/Guardian model of just asking for donations does?

At risk subscribers:

  • Use of Driftrock
    • Driftrock connects your email campaign subscriber lists to Facebook Custom Audiences and create highly targeted marketing campaigns.
  • Participants are interested in sharing data on churn behaviors across markets.

Comscore: Does this score matter to anyone anymore? content: Syndicating content is a revenue opportunity, but not getting traffic, participants are unclear what the payday is. Some members are currently participating.

The next innovationXchange roundtable meeting will focus on one of the topics discussed in Florida to be held this fall (date and location TBD, but will be on the West coast). The meeting will continue the dialogue and dive deeper into a single focused topic.

Topics such as newsletters and content marketing; driving readers to subscription (e.g. dynamic meters, paywalls, propensity to pay) have sparked interest from the group as potential discussions at future Alliance events.
Please contact me at ( or 571-366-1020 if you have any other suggestions for innovationXchange topics or if you would be interested in participating or sending a representative to one or more roundtables.


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