Award-winning digital media consultant Yasmin Namini speaks to delegates at the INMA Global Media Summit Africa held at the Vineyard Hotel in Newlands this week. Picture: Ian Landsberg

Cape Town - Adapt or die, media from around the world heard at the close of the International News Media Association (INMA) Global Media Summit Africa on Tuesday.

Media owners from across the world gathered at the Vineyard Hotel in Newlands to attend the conference, the first of its kind to be held in the southern hemisphere.

Media companies were urged to move with the times and adapt to the digital age and the threats posed by social media in stealing away audiences and revenue from traditional, legacy media.

“Innovention” was the term bandied about on Tuesday, a portmanteau of “innovation” and “invention”. Companies should not reinvent themselves, but rather source the right partners in order to adapt to the current challenges of falling revenue and lower subscriptions, said Sandy MacLeod from the Toronto Star.

“Use partnered events to draw revenue and good solid campaigns to drive your subscriber numbers. But don’t go big without having the right budget, and the right people, to carry out the job.”

As companies face the reality of having to put up “paywalls”, only allowing content to be accessed by users who pay a digital subscription, Yasmin Namini, a digital media consultant with 30 years of marketing and audience building experience with the New York Times said users would pay for digital content, provided it was good content. “I’m not saying you should put up paywalls or adopt freemiums (limited access to some content, while charging a premium for the best quality content); all I’m saying is it’s worked around the world. But it has to be good content. People won’t pay for bad content.”

The next INMA event takes place in February with a conference in London on Big Data.

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Cape Argus