Title: Digital media economy: business models and financial challenges in three Indian English digital native news websites

Authors: Aquil Ahmad Khan; M. Shuaib Mohamed Haneef

Addresses: Department of Media and Communication, MIT-World Peace University, Pune, India ' Department of Electronic Media and Mass Communication, School of Media and Communication, Pondicherry University, Puducherry, 605014, India

Abstract: The internet is overloaded with content and its overabundance has serious implications for the political economy of news industry. Media organisations are grappling with various pricing models in the ever-expanding competitive market scenarios. Digital media publishers are torn between the choices of providing content free to the audience and at the same time have readers pay for it. This study explores the emerging business models and challenges in three Indian English digital native news organisations through participant-observation and in-depth interviews. This study uncovers that the three news websites are yet to identify a sustainable business model partly due to stiff competition posed to them by the duopoly of Google and Facebook. However, the failure of digital native websites in generating sufficient revenue from advertising is slowly pushing them to consider paywall as the optimum business proposition that would allow them to generate revenue without interventions from platforms.

Keywords: digital native news media; business model; paywall; financial challenges; crowd funding.

DOI: 10.1504/IJICBM.2023.133559

International Journal of Indian Culture and Business Management, 2023 Vol.30 No.1, pp.139 - 155

Accepted: 30 Aug 2021
Published online: 21 Sep 2023 *

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