The Washington Post Believes its Publishing Platform is a $100m Business

The Washington Post / iPad by Esther Vargas, Flickr

It really is international in my media newsletter today with stories Ireland’s INM being bought by Belgian media house Mediahuis and Nine in Oz selling off a chunk of Fairfax’s old local newspaper empire.

But the top story today is about how the Washington Post thinks that Arc, its publishing platform, is a $100 m revenue generator. That’s pretty amazing when you think of how much usually gets spent on content management systems so thinking of content management as a revenue generator rather than a cost centre.

I just started the Knight Centre’s Product Management for Newsroom Leaders course so products and managing them are at the forefront of my mind so it probably isn’t a surprise that this quote from Shailesh Prakash, the Washington Post’s Chief Information Officer and Chief Product Officer, jumped out at me:

In the beginning, it was quite confusing because we spent a great deal of time trying to define what a product is. We asked ourselves questions such as, “Who is the owner of the homepage?” However, I believe those types of questions are irrelevant because the key to successful product development is to partner with the Sales, Engineering, and News teams to come up with products that delight our readers, advertisers, or subscribers. In the best case, we are delighting all three of them.

How The Washington Post Made Its Publishing Platform A Revenue Driver, by Peter High, Forbes contributor

Developing products that delight all of our key constituents. That’s a pretty great goal.

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