Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2439

Article | Open Access

E-Commerce as a Source of Revenue in Spanish Digital News Media

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Abstract:  This study analyzes e-commerce strategies in Spanish active digital news outlets comprehensively based on a 2021 census. Out of the 2,862 outlets, 11.8% (or 337) incorporated some form of e-commerce, with a higher prevalence observed among legacy media than among digital-native outlets. The study also revealed that e-commerce was more prevalent among outlets with national coverage and specialized subject matters. A detailed examination of 34 high-reach outlets, including 25 legacy and nine digital-native news outlets, found that both types employed on-site sales and affiliate marketing. However, legacy media exclusively engaged in promotional editorial collections, merchandise, tickets, and travel sales. The study highlights that while some outlets are diversifying revenue streams, most still rely primarily on traditional income sources such as advertising and subscriptions. This reliance poses a risk as these conventional streams are becoming less dependable. Furthermore, the increasing move towards market-oriented journalism raises concerns about a shift from the democratic role of news media to a more consumerist model.

Keywords:  affiliate marketing; digital journalism; digital media; e-commerce; financial sustainability; news media



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© Alfonso Vara-Miguel, Cristina Sánchez-Blanco, Samuel Negredo-Bruna, and Charo Sádaba-Chalezquer. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.