Global round-up: Post’s partner program a success

Global round-up: Post’s partner program a success

After launching a partner program with other newspapers earlier this year, The Washington Post has released new research showing that the partnerships have benefited all parties.

The program, which gives subscribers to partner newspapers access to The Washington Post’s pay-walled content, has signed up 165 newspapers. The program also allows the Post to provide access to its digital content to a broader, more national audience.

The Post surveyed a random sample of 1299 people about the digital partner program from August 27 to September 8. The respondents were all print subscribers to partner newspapers that were aware of the partner program and had activated their free Post digital subscription.

Results from the survey shows that 92 per cent of respondents saw value added to their subscription by having free access to The Washington Post, while 64 per cent said that free access to Post content made them more likely to continue their print subscriptions.

Seventy three per cent of respondents said that the partner program had made them think more favourably of the paper to which they had subscribed, with 26 per cent saying it had no impact on the opinion they had formed.

Free access to the Post also has not diminished the necessity of the local paper to readers, with 97 per cent saying that the free access had not resulted in them reading their local paper any less, and more than half still viewed their local paper as their primary news source.

9to5Mac pays authors per story view

Apple news site 9to5Mac has implemented a pay structure that ties its journalists’ salary to the traffic that goes to their articles, by giving them their own Google AdSense ads.

As reported in Business Insider, 9to5Mac’s founder Seth Weintraub believes that this model is the fairest for paying his staffers.

“It just started when I was like, ‘How do I pay these guys based on my advertising’,” he told Business Insider, “and I thought, ‘Just give them an ad…It’s like, ‘What’s the fairest way to pay a writer?’”

Some writers get more ads than others, generally based on the amount of content they produce, and copy editors are paid in cash as they don’t publish as much.

According to Weintraub, some of his employees make more than $100,000 using this model, and one Apple beat reporter Mark Gurman has “never had a sub-$10,000 month,” he said.

“I’m honestly surprised more people don’t do it because it actually takes away a lot of the complexity, because if people say ‘I’m not making enough money,’ I’m like, ‘Write more stories, get more page views’,” he said.

Forensiq demonstrates bot dangers

Online ad fraud detection firm Forensiq, has released a video that shows a malicious malware bot on a virtual computer as it generates 10,000 fraudulent web impressions in 24 hours.

For the purpose of the video, Forensiq intentionally infected a virtual computer with a “particularly malicious bot”, and showed how it can create fake ad impressions.

The voiceover in the video says that “typically this kind of malware is launched on a computer by clicking on a link, downloading a file, or visiting an unsafe, compromised website”.

“In some cases a user doesn’t have to do anything at all, as botnets comb through the internet looking for outdated browsers and security vulnerabilities.”

Forensiq estimates that 61.5 per cent of web traffic is generated through non-human activity, whether search engines and “other good bots”, hacking tools, scrapers, or other impersonators.

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