Case Study: News 3.0 (Italy)

The name of the publication and / or company

News 3.0

Established

2010

Web Address

www.lettera43.it

Form of the company

Joint-Stock Company

Describe your site or business in few words.

News 3.0 is a news production start-up launched in 2010 with a solid capital position (about 5 million Euro from several investors). It develops both horizontal and vertical information portals, plus web applications and other services.

Paolo Madron, founder of News 3.0 explains: “We started off with Lettera43, a product we like to call a ‘a daily magazine’, a mixture of worldwide news aggregation and in-depth news analysis – something along the lines of The Daily Beast in the USA. Then, in 2011 we launched two vertical websites – one dedicated to Economics (www.economiaweb.it), and another one to fashion (www.modainforma.it). Very soon two more portals, devoted to Travel and International Expo 2015 (which will take place in Milan, Italy), will be launched.

We are also working on information websites in English, with an integrated e-commerce platform on Italian lifestyle, targeting audiences in countries with a high GDP growth (China, Turkey, Russia, Brazil, India).”

Staff numbers

Who’s creating the content

Content creators, paid full-time

28

Content creators, paid freelancers

20-30

How is your time divided between doing business and content?

“As the executive editor, most of my energy is spent on content production. I also try to write as much as possible (3 or 4 original stories per week). At the same time, as a board member of News 3.0, I am involved in the daily business management tasks.”

Business, marketing & sales, paid full-time

5

How they make money

Revenue models and sustainability

Would you say your business model is sustainable?

“Currently we are not sustainable, but we are confident we will be able to break even in a few years. Right now we are focusing on free content subsidized by advertisement, with the support of Manzoni, one of the most important Italian advertising agencies. At the same time, however, we are seeking new sources of income from ad hoc sponsorship and syndication of media content. According to our business plan, we should break even in 4 years, if not sooner. In 2011 our losses were 40% less than estimated.”

How much is your yearly or monthly revenue?

1,300,000 euros in 2011

Where does your revenue go?

“Lettera43 is our most expensive endeavour, with a staff of 20 journalists. We consider it our flagship, and invested a lot in its organization. Economiaweb.it is much cheaper: it allows for greater revenues and is already covered by direct sales.”

How much do you pay to your contributors?

30-50 euros per story (depending on the length)

What about profit?

“Above all, we plan to launch International projects targeting audiences in emerging countries. Then we’d invest in technology upgrades: we recently purchased shares in an internet platform provider.”

What kind of advertising you sell?

Ad Networks, Cost per Click (CPC), Sponsorship, Text links

Do you sell virtual or physical products?

Software, plugins or apps and Video

Other revenue sources

Content syndication

Do you see your publication as your main product?

“For Lettera43 I’d say yes: it is our top project and gained broader popularity right away, so that advertisers are interested in investing there.”

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

“Gaining new audiences abroad, since in 2012-2013 the Italian market will remain most likely in recession.”