Case Study: FpS Media (Italy)

The name of the publication and / or company

FpS Media

Established

2009

Web Address

www.fpsmedia.it

Form of the company

Cooperative

Describe your site or business in few words.

FpS was established in 2009 as a cooperative of 17 students (today reduced to 11) from the Journalism School “Walter Tobagi” of Milan University, assisted by one expert tutor. We started off as subcontractors or freelancers for National newspapers, developing content for their websites and TV and radio programs. Then we specialized also in business communication (Press Office 2.0, corporate blogging, web-development) and today we mostly develop web projects for large companies. We are also working on the development of innovative products for online information.

Staff numbers

Who’s creating the content

Content creators, paid full-time

11

How is your time divided between doing business and content?

70% content and 30% business

Business, marketing & sales, paid full-time

3

How they make money

Revenue models and sustainability

Would you say your business model is sustainable?

“I would say we are technically sustainable, since as a cooperative our salaries depend on the actual revenues. We currently have a gross income of about 210,000 Euro, which is almost three times what we earned in our first year. Our initially low-income improved with time, and today we draft a formal contract agreement with each FpS journalist.”

How much is your yearly or monthly revenue?

210,000 euros in 2011

Where does your revenue go?

Labour cost is our first budget item. Then we have to cover operating expenses (mainly about our facility and equipment needs) and we have to pay taxes, which in Italy are extremely high.

How much do you pay to your contributors?

Currently we do not rely on external contributors, at least for our journalistic activities. It can happen that we work together with external partners on specific projects. In these cases we adopt a revenue-share model.

What about profit?

“We are in constant need of equipment upgrades and software resources, that are vital for the kind of services we provide. The need to seek additional sources of income is also rapidly emerging.”

Other revenue sources

Freelancing – journalism, Freelancing – non journalism, Training, Consulting, Design

Do you see your publication as your main product?

“Right now our structure is essentially focused on developing content for third parties. We haven’t ruled out yet the option of launching our own online magazine in the future, even with the difficulty of gaining sustainability as a web-only outlet. We would need some initial investments and then a stream of sponsoring advertisement.”

What would be the most important thing on your road to sustainability?

“For the last two years our main goal was basic survival and some progressive growth, and we achieved both of them. Now we need to consolidate our business, strengthening our core activities and at the same time trying to expand in other areas more appealing to the Italian public. As elsewhere online, even for journalism, innovation is the key to success.”