Business Model

Social Spider Community News currently publishes five local newspapers based on a social enterprise model. We are a not-for-profit organisation and our aim is to make independent local news that is accessible to everyone in our local communities.

The shift from print to primarily online advertising – and the decline of paid-for print newspapers – has created a massive problem for everyone in local news publishing. 

The post-internet era has seen many corporate local newspapers focus on continuing to make as much profit as possible from local markets while reducing the amount and quality of local journalism they provide. 

We start from the opposite position: our aim is to produce the best possible local news products with the resources available – and to increase those resources by attracting new readers and advertisers. 

Social Spider Community News generates revenue from:

  • Print advertising – this remains the single biggest source of revenue for our publications, and we are able to offer local advertisers the dual benefit of promoting their products and services, and supporting community-focused local news
  • Online advertising – this is a slowly growing source of revenue however we need to balance the income that can be generated against the negative effect that intrusive advertising can have on readers’ experiences.
  • Membership – we have over 500 local people donating regularly to support our publications
  • Newsletters – these weekly updates are a route for advertisers to notify thousands of local people about upcoming events and offers 
  • Consultancy – we work with other independent local news publications in different parts of the UK to help them develop their business models

There is no single magic solution to the business model challenges facing local news but by producing publications which are rooted in and valued by local communities, we are developing a sustainable mix of income streams.