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Niche Publishers in the News Show Value of Strong Audience

Niche publishers like Sneaker News are making their mark; plus, Apple News vs. Facebook Instant

Content that doesn’t deeply consider audience is a waste of time and money. It’s no coincidence that the majority of Mequoda Members are niche publishers: The model allows you to focus on segments of consumption, build up loyalty, strongly define social media strategy, and design revenue-generating events.

Digiday delves into niche publishers with recent articles, while examining Apple News and Facebook Instant Articles, both potential partners for niche publishers. Let’s take a look.

Sneaker News a Paragon for Niche Publishers?

With 4 million uniques and 30 million views per month, it’s hard to fathom that a publisher could be devoted solely to shoes, but Sneaker News is showing niche publishers how it’s done, Digiday reports.

“The growth of that hardcore fan base has opened up opportunities for sites like Sneaker News, which are aimed at not only keeping fans abreast of new announcements, but also keeping them constantly updated on when things go on sale. A quarter of the traffic to Sneaker News goes to its sneaker-release calendar, which, [Editor-in-Chief Yu-ming] Wu says, readers check as often as once an hour,” Ricardo Bilton writes.

“It’s a familiar formula these days. While the likes of BuzzFeed and Vox Media aim for scaled audiences with broad fare, sites like Sneaker News (and, in the watch space, Hodinkee) are going deeper on specific beats in an effort to own smaller, more passionate audiences.

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“‘From the beginning, the idea was to make something that operates 24 hours a day. Whenever something is coming in, we want to have something to say and publish it immediately,’ Wu said. Overall, the site’s five-person editorial team publishes 35 to 50 stories a week.”

E-Sports Getting Publishers’ Attention as Worthy Topic

Finding the niche within a niche is sometimes an option, as well. E-sports, or competitive gaming, is gaining momentum as both an industry and subject of coverage for publishers. Recently, ESPN the Magazine, one of the most successful publishers on the planet, devoted a full issue to e-sports, while The Daily Dot established a vertical for hard-core audiences way back in 2013, Digiday reports.

Comparing Apple News and Facebook Instant Articles

Lucia Moses of Digiday breaks down the debate between Apple Newsstand replacement Apple News and Facebook Instant Articles. The categories? History, revenue-sharing, data terms, and features.

The conclusion is that the offerings are similar in some ways – for instance, both have a star-crossed history with publishers; both will let publishers keep 70% if they use the provider ad platforms – and different in others: Facebook might have better analytics, but Apple might have better promotional opportunities for multiplatform publishers. One big advantage for Apple at the moment: Apple News is open to all publishers, while Facebook Instant is currently more exclusive.

Do you number yourself among niche publishers? Check out our free Digital Publishing & Marketing Intensive Program Guide and sign up for our next event!

To read more about niche publishers in the news, visit Digiday.

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