The Future of Jewish Media

from The New York Jewish Week:

A “McKinsey Study” on the Jewish Web

In these troubling times for the Jewish community and the media industry, the Internet is a vast resource – but also an underutilized one.

To provide a bit of perspective, 4Wall, in conjunction with its Jewish initiative JInsider, released the Jewish Internet Metric Study, which takes a business-oriented, top-level look at the Jewish Web using the practices of the renowned consulting firm McKinsey as a guide. With this analysis the community can better understand the business issues, the competitive situation, and the hurdles and opportunities for sustainability on the Web. The report will create a basis for productive discussion on what individual or cooperative strategy might be considered.

Here are some key findings:

  • In the News portion of study, the most instructive section is the traffic and engagement comparison between the websites of the major Israeli papers (Haaretz and the Jerusalem Post) and the American news sources (JTA, The Jewish Journal, The Jewish Week, The Forward, The Jewish Exponent and The Jewish Press). For a website to be self-supporting, the trick is to attract a significant enough share of eyeballs to sell a wide range of ad packages. and have achieved a high level of visitation, but while and lead the American pack, there is no clearly dominant or go-to source for American Jewish news online.
  • Beyond just site traffic, visitor engagement patterns also suggest the American Jewish news industry is too fragmented on the Internet. Not only do visitors spend significantly more time per visit when perusing the Israeli sites, but many more of those visitors are “regulars” (people who visit more than once per month) and addicts (people who visit more than 30 times per month).
  • The takeaway point is that the American Jewish media needs to coordinate and combine their assets online. By combining and centralizing the Web presence of many of these brands, the advantages would extend beyond the basic aggregation of their traffic. A centralized U.S.-based news site would benefit from economies of scale, a greater ability to attract the best talent, and stronger ad sales. A dominant Web brand would also enjoy exponentially increased readership and engagement.

The full report is available from JInsider.

[note: all emphasis eJP]