Challenge: How might news organizations offer ad-free experiences and other membership benefits to better connect with their audiences and generate new revenue?
Ryan Nakashima has used his time at Stanford to tack on the skills and knowledge essential to his goal of helping publishers better evaluate whether ad-free subscriptions can support their journalism. He teamed up with a professor to build a Monte Carlo simulation that modeled the inherent trade-offs and spoke with many publishers about the possibility of launching pilots to test demand in the marketplace. Through the d.school he gained the crucial ability to design digital prototypes and iterate quickly based on real user feedback. A core statistics analysis course has also given him proficiency in the R software language and the basis with which to evaluate relationships in data. He’s also put together a multidisciplinary team to tackle the complex challenges that lie ahead.
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Ryan Nakashima is the media and technology business reporter for The Associated Press, writing about how companies and creators are adapting in the digital age. He began his AP career in bureaus in Milwaukee and Las Vegas and has written business stories on a range of topics, from beer and motorcycles to casinos and tourism. Nakashima, the son of Japanese-Americans, was raised in Canada. After graduating from journalism school in Ottawa, he worked as a journalist in Canada for a couple of years, before moving to Japan to explore his roots. He spent a year teaching English, learned Japanese and then worked as a reporter in the Agence France-Presse bureau in Tokyo. His hobbies include playing guitar and brewing beer, but these days he doesn’t have much leisure time — he and his wife, Komaki Matsui, a filmmaker, have 2-year-old triplets.