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Executive Report - By Thomas Baekdal - May 2015

The Five Behaviors That Define The News Business

The digital world has changed so much about how we publish. And yet, if you look around you, we see almost no change in how things are done. The friction and habits that people have built up over many generations serves as an almost unbreakable wall. But it doesn't have to be that way. And part of the reason why nothing is changing is because most publishers don't realize they have more than one option for growth.

In this article, we will explore, in depth, the five major forms of media consumption that defines the digital world today. The break, the update, the lookup, the story and the passion, and the recline. And we will explore why media companies optimizing for one type of media behavior is entirely different from that of the others.

By the end of this article, you will learn why there is a future potential within each of these five paths, rather than what we see today where most newspapers only focus on optimizing traffic.

Note: while this article is primarily aimed at newspaper and magazine publishers, the overall concept of aligning your strategy with how people behave is true for brands as well.

Let's get started.

The lack of media innovation

In 1996, almost twenty years ago, the Wall Street Journal launched its newspaper on the web. And it came with all the bells and whistles.

The Wall Street Journal Interactive Edition provides continually updated news 24 hours a day, seven days a week, a personalized news report, updated stock and mutual-fund prices and in-depth background information.

To address the needs of busy readers, the Interactive Edition provides a feature called Personal Journal. This allows a reader to establish a profile of his or her interests and easily view the news that matches that profile.
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What is Baekdal?

Baekdal is a magazine for media professionals, focusing on media analysis, trends, patterns, strategy, journalistic focus, and newsroom optimization. Since 2010, it has helped publishers in more than 40 countries, including big and small publishers like Condé Nast, Bonnier, Schibsted, NRC, and others, as well as companies like Google and Microsoft.

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Thomas Baekdal

Founder, media analyst, author, and publisher. Follow on Twitter

"Thomas Baekdal is one of Scandinavia's most sought-after experts in the digitization of media companies. He has made ​​himself known for his analysis of how digitization has changed the way we consume media."
Swedish business magazine, Resumé


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