Scoop reaches Pledge Me target, but the fight's not over

  • Media
  • November 20, 2015
  • Joshua Riddiford
Scoop reaches Pledge Me target, but the fight's not over

Alastair Thompson, editor and co-founder of Scoop Media says the online news organisation now has a “fighting chance” after reaching a crowd-funding target of $50,000 on Pledge Me to establish the Scoop foundation for public interest journalism.

Crowd-funding for media organisations seems to be in vogue at the moment with Auckland’s 95 bFm radio station seeking $45,000 from donors on the Givealittle webpage.

Speaking to StopPress on Wednesday afternoon, Thompson said the money raised had been earmarked to improve the financial viability of Scoop Media through its self-described ethical paywall through which Scoop encourages large users to purchase a commercial licence.

“The crowd-funding campaign was quite explicit about establish[ing] the ethical paywall as the long-term sustainable business model to support Scoop.”

There are currently 82 accredited commercial licence holders for Scoop as listed on the organisation's webpage.

Thompson says he rejects typical commercial paywalls which are too restrictive. Scoop’s ethical paywall instead aims at keeping content free on the website.

“It’s essentially creative commons applied. Other commercial models require paywalls to be coercive. Paywalls create an obstacle. They are quite complex and expensive to initiate.”

Scoop typically serves as an online bulletin board for lobby groups, government departments and businesses to post press releases, which are then often disseminated through mainstream media channels.

Thompson said Scoop’s value lay in acting as a distributor of unfiltered information.

“In terms of the value that Scoop provides, I think it’s fair to say it exists primarily in the collection of content and the archive of content. Scoop’s content set is very useful for people doing work. People use Scoop’s content to help them analyse competitive threats, regulations of government [and] look up contacts.”

The idea of the ethical paywall may sound nice but without the ability to compel users to pay for Scoop’s content and services, doesn’t the service risk a lot of people taking advantage of the free service?

Thompson agreed this was an ongoing problem for Scoop but he said the numbers of “ethical” subscribers could help make Scoop viable.

“Free-riding is an issue. Inevitably there will be quite a lot of free-riding as we grow our subscriber base. Our view is that free riders should be ashamed of themselves but we are not having any intention of actively pursuing them because there seem to be plenty of customers who are willing to acknowledge the value that they receive from Scoop and pay for it.”

Thompson was optimistic about the value of Scoop licences, given the amount of web traffic driven to the site.

“We do know on a daily basis, Scoop receives 20,000 visitors. That relates to people accessing information in our archives.”

Scoop, like many media organisations, has struggled to keep its head above water and Thompson said the crowd-funding wouldn’t make them fully financially sustainable overnight.

“Scoop is profitable on a year-to-date basis as of today [Wednesday] with this crowd funding [but] we need commercial support in terms of people buying our licences in order for us to be fully sustainable.”

By May next year (the anniversary of the first Scoop licences being sold), Thompson was confident that sufficient numbers of licences would have been sold to make Scoop financially sustainable on a monthly basis.

However, Thompson added: "until that point we may need some additional support, special sponsorship or some special support from corporations”.

Thompson said Scoop is aiming to sell an additional 50-100 commercial licences over the summer.

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.

Duke marks one year with live branded sport event

  • Media
  • March 23, 2017
  • StopPress Team
Duke marks one year with live branded sport event

When TVNZ launched Duke last year, it was championed as a way of reaching hard to get audiences and acting as an experiment lab for new forms of content. And its first birthday celebration is set to champion those strengths with a live primetime TV sports event that will see two friends battle it out for Fresh-Up.

Read more
Next page
Results for
Topics
Jobs
About

StopPress provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2015 Tangible Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.

Advertise

Contact Vernene Medcalf at +64 21 628 200 to advertise in StopPress.

View Media Kit