Liang Gongjun: Four Models for Monetizing Reading Products
In summary, we have explored four ways to monetize reading products. Some have been successful, some have been average, and I would like to share them with you in the hope that companies of similar scale can avoid some detours.
The first is advertising. We started doing it at the end of July, and now we have a monthly revenue of 500,000. It's quite good for a startup team. We have done two types of advertising: brand advertising and performance advertising. Many advertising companies have been promoting their performance advertising SDKs, but we have tried many domestic and foreign ones and found that this form is not very good for generating revenue. So we have focused all our efforts on brand advertising. Brands like Samsung and Mercedes-Benz have placed ads on Xian Guo, and the ad revenue has been increasing rapidly. In August, it was over 200,000; in September, it was over 300,000; and in October, it was close to 400,000.
The second is game cooperation. Because games are the most profitable in the mobile internet industry, it's like making money every day. For Xian Guo, the most direct way to monetize information products is through advertising, but we have a large number of users, many of whom are potential and high ARUP value users. We can do joint operations with high-quality games through these users, such as click-to-pay cooperation with game developers and performance-based payment cooperation. However, the results were not very good. After trying with some games, we found that game cooperation could be a better source of revenue. So I suggest that for startup companies, this is also a good path to try.
The third method is paid reading. Xiaodong and Mr. Tang probably have more say on this. Xian Guo started doing paid reading in 2010, but it didn't go well, so now we basically leave it there and don't pay much attention to it. But it is still an option. Going further, I agree with the previous two speakers that if the content is valuable to users, it should be paid for. So we will continue to insist on doing this.
Another one is e-commerce guidance. We tried it in June and July, including reverse cooperation with Taobao, Jingdong, and LeFeng. For example, if an article is about the iPad, I can click on the corresponding link to go to Jingdong or Taobao to make a purchase, and then we will share the revenue. This model actually exists in mature websites abroad.
These are the four paths we are currently exploring. After trying them back and forth, e-commerce guidance and paid reading may be weaker, while advertising is now more mature. According to our communication with people in the advertising industry, as long as you have an app and clearly convey your style and user group, advertisers will recognize it, especially those with good brands.
Another thing I want to share is that if you do brand advertising, it is best to set some principles at the beginning. For example, we only accept first-class brands and reject others. Otherwise, it is easy to mess up. We received a brand that was not very good before and received a lot of criticism from users. If you see a very exquisite and top-notch brand when the app starts, users will not be averse to it and won't think there is a problem.
Content Payment Route + Advertising Model Five Years Later
Hu Xiaodong: When information finds the right people, it can become a sellable commodity
In fact, our previous industry chain was from writers to publishers to readers. As I mentioned earlier, there is an amplifier effect, which gathers content and magnifies it to create value. This can be divided into two types: aggregating the content itself and monetizing it as a channel. The future of content acquisition relies on interests and topics, and reading is the best carrier of big data. Through reading, you can categorize yourself into various categories. How can I not make money by aggregating and targeting these people on a platform? Future advertising will be completely targeted. I have a different view from Mr. Liang. I don't think advertising has a specific style. If you target the right people with enough precision, the advertisement is valuable. We often talk about large-scale advertising and brand advertising, but I think these will be overturned. Advertising is also information. Some information carries commercial attributes, so it is called advertising. If it doesn't carry commercial attributes, it is called something else. In reality, there are too many things that carry commercial attributes now.
If we want to monetize, we have many forms that could have made money a long time ago. There are many projects, but we deliberately didn't do them because we want to be a platform. We have found an interesting phenomenon. Information search used to rank first in the development report of the Internet many years ago, but not anymore. It has shifted from information search to information application, and there is so much content. You have to package it into products, targeting different users. The content needs to be reorganized and refined, and then different products are used for different users.
Five years later, it will be the advertising model because by then, the users will be precise enough and there will be enough analysis. At that time, there will be no need to sell content.