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Small or Smart? An Exploration of Viable Business Model of Media Organizations under the Lens of Attention Economy: The Case of China

Lisa Li Xiaoqin and Xiaojing Gong

29th European Regional ITS Conference, Trento 2018 from International Telecommunications Society (ITS)

Abstract: Market-oriented traditional media that emerged from China's news reform now faces an industry crisis brought by new media. These traditional media organizations have been exploring ways to innovate and converge with new media. From 2014 to 2017, the author of this research tracked three market-oriented media outlets in Guangzhou: two life-style magazines and a media APP run by a metropolitan newspaper. Combining background document analysis, in-depth interview and participant observation, this study examines the process of establishing a new media business model aiming at sustainable profitability. It is found that in the process of transition, the macro media system unavoidably plays a restrictive role, while the motivation to innovate and ability to execute on the part of media organization leadership are a key factor. At the micro level, the original content production based on accurate positioning of target users is positively linked to media performance and profitability; and cross-media editorial operation may have an adverse impact. From the perspective of new media attention economy, wisdom journalism and wisdom marketing are equally important in attracting users. It is still too early to say that any new media profit model is mature to established, but this research finds that media convergence is a relatively smooth path for "demassified" small media to achieve profitability. As such, demassified media operation may become a new growth point or organic supplement in traditional media organizations in their media convergence process.

Keywords: attention economy; demassification of media; wisdom journalism; smart marketing; new media profit model (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cna and nep-mkt
Date: 2018
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:zbw:itse18:184955

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