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Being First with Facts: How Breaking News Became Big Business 

From the early days of newspapers and radio news, publishers and broadcasters always wanted to be first when it came to informing their readers or listeners of what was going on. Be it local, national, or international news, it was often a matter of professional pride and competitive cachet to say you were first with the facts. Whether it was gleaning more listeners of growing newspaper circulations, it mattered then and it matters now. The difference between news and how people get their news now compared to then is, of course, huge. 

Not only do we have television networks that are now in constantly febrile competition with other networks, we have websites dedicated to breaking news, apps that claim to be first with every update, and any number of online social media platforms that promise you will know what happens around the world or around the corner in almost real time. Even more, breaking news is no longer based on one area of news. 

Naturally, mainstream broadcasters still focus on national and world events, but this is increasingly becoming the legacy media model, not the future. From political developments to economic news, following the latest college football odds to seeing which celebrities are getting married or divorced and every societal issue in between, breaking news is bespoke to what users want to see or hear. Unsurprisingly, part of this is driven by the business side of news, as it becomes entertainment as much as it does news. So just how and why did breaking news become such big business, and is there any change that news-based business models will all, eventually, become subscription based or profit driven? 

Online News Is Fast and Fast Becoming Primary the News Source for Millions

When the internet first came into being, few people could perhaps have conjured up a genuine image of what it would become. In terms of how it has evolved within the news industry, this is something that the mainstream media could not have predicted either. Though almost every news network around the world, from the BBC to CNN, NBC to CBS and hundreds more now have a dedicated website and app to help disseminate the news far and wide, there are now news outlets that are exclusively online, and even individuals who have become news outlets on their own. 

As younger generations do more and more in terms of socialising, gaming, banking, dating, and watching film and television online, it is not surprising to learn that the number of people who now consider websites and apps to be the main source of their news updates is increasing exponentially. What were traditionally top stories creating headlines for scheduled television news are now consumed in the form of notifications, breaking news tweets, or real time website posts. 

It goes without saying that from news apps to dedicated breaking news sites and social media platforms, the business element of new is now impossible to ignore. Monetising can be through advertisements on sites and apps, subscriptions from users, and even contributions from investors, but whichever way you look at it, breaking news has not only become a business, but it has also become a seriously big global enterprise. And, unlike the infrastructure needed to run a mainstream news network, websites and apps can be developed quickly and cost-effectively, not to mention offering a truly global reach in terms of potential audiences and revenue streams. 

Demands For Instant Notifications Drives Fierce Online News Competition 

With this money-making element it has become attendant upon paid news sources to be first with the breaking news, making it an even more competitive arena. Even though mainstream media outlets that are free do provide notifications and breaking news updates, there are still a wide range of new media platforms, be they social media or independent news sites, which are popular even with a subscription cost. Add to this the competition to get advertisers to feature on your site as another revenue stream, and you will begin to see just how tense this industry is. 

In the world of the smartphone, the smartwatch, and every digital device you can imagine being logged on and available around the clock and around the world, it is not hard to see how breaking news has become so popular as an online source of information. Whether it is a ping on your watch, a text on your phone, or a banner headline on your tablet, there are any number of news platforms looking to make people see them as their primary source of news and information from the world of politics, showbusiness, sport, business and economics. 

It is this consumer demand and the ability to use technology everywhere that has, at least in part, created the market for breaking news to become big business. As any business, any industry, and every corporate sector you can name, competition is all about making money, and growing your business. In the arena of breaking news, this market is global, the reach is worldwide, and the audience could well be beyond anything mainstream media could dream of. 

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