Geofencing as a New Tool to Monetize Content

Geofencing enables publishers to effectively build a fence around their core market, providing content or access for free, but requiring anyone outside that market to pay for access. Publishers who enjoy either a national — or international — audience are losing out on the opportunity both to generate additional revenue for their publication and build a more loyal user base, if they fail to employ geofencing as part of their digital strategy. In this article, I look at two scenarios where combining geographic location-based targeting could help.

Scenario One: Local Publication with a National Reach

  • A local media outlet – perhaps one based in a larger metropolitan area – starts out as free to read, relying on a small but loyal advertiser base to generate revenues. 
  • Many of its original audience have since moved to different parts of the country, but they still read the paper faithfully.
  • With advertising levels starting to plateau, the publication is looking to generate other revenue streams to compensate, but the publishers don’t want to risk losing their loyal local readership by starting to charge for content. 
  • With geofencing, publishers could segment audiences who read the paper locally and keep content free for them, but for anyone outside a predetermined zip code alternative options could be employed. 

Scenario Two: National Publication with an International Audience Base

  • Consider a larger, national level publication that has a large audience base within the US but also has solid readership internationally as well.
  • They do not monetize their ad inventory internationally and, as a result, they are paid for ads seen in the country but do not collect revenue from ads that are seen anywhere outside the US.
  • Geofencing is an opportunity for the publication to explore alternative monetization options, such as single articles or time passes
  • This both offsets the revenue lost from advertising and leads audiences through the conversion funnel, ultimately encouraging them to purchase a long-term subscription.

Check out my full article here.

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