It’s a question we hear all the time from small market and community newspaper publishers. If they’re going to spend money digitizing bound volume newspaper archives, publishers want to know how to monetize it – how to get their investment back. They know the online archive has tremendous value so how can they make money?
Many have tried placing the archive behind a paywall but few, if any, have found the success they expected. What has worked for publishers, is selling ads against their archive content – making money on the historical archives up front.
Our parent company, SmallTownPapers, created a program called Discover America’s Story that is helping publishers do that. Participating newspapers sell ad sponsorships which generate revenue they can apply toward digitization. We then work with them to scan their bound volumes safely and intact and they have complete ownership of the newly created digital archive. It’s a program publishers should take a look at if they’re eager to digitize but have put it off because of the cost – or take a look at some of the program’s case studies. Check out www.discoveramericasstory.com for details.
The site also offers free searchable access to dozens of newspaper archives you can explore.