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Guardian takes a hit on its "last print presses" while digital revenue rises by 41%

Guardian Media Group, which owns the Guardian and Observer newspapers saw its revenues dip last year, as a result of "difficult trading conditions" and the cost of its new printing presses (which Alan Rusbridger said he thought might be the last printing presses the group ever bought).

However, reports say that the Guardian Unlimited website had 12.9 unique users in March and its digital division saw revenue growth of over 41%.

41% growth in a publishing business.

That figure should stand as an inspiration to publishers still hiding their greatest asset - their content - behind pay-walls. The Guardian is benefiting from the prominence in the English language online networks that its openness with content has won it.

For anyone playing in a network : publisher or brand, here is the equation for success:

Useful content made easily available (find-able and not password protected) to the network

= more links from blogs and other media referencing you

= more traffic and higher rankings in search engines and aggregators

= even more traffic and more ad revenue and more brand equity

Ta da! It's the new media business model. Real simple, eh?

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