Peter Kirwan Paywall Strategies 2011


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Peter Kirwan Paywall Strategies 2011

  1. 1. Paywalls: an update<br />Peter Kirwan<br />
  2. 2. Six paid content models<br />Total lockdown<br />Metered<br />Freemium<br />Time-limited<br />Site licensing<br />Pay-per-view<br />
  3. 3. News International<br />The most aggressive paywall experiment:<br />Times/Sunday Times: July 2010<br />NoTW: October 2010<br />Marketing costs?<br />Traffic reduction?<br />Social interaction?<br />Unique ad sales challenge<br />The “newsletter” challenge: deep & focused<br />Eight months on, there is (still) no Plan B.<br />
  4. 4. News International: Metrics<br />News statement: November 2010<br />After four months. . .<br />100,000 print subs activate web access<br />105,000 “paid-for customer sales”<br />c.50,000 “monthly subscribers”<br />Web subs, iPad & Kindle<br />“Many of the rest”<br />“Single digital copy” or PAYG web subscribers<br />
  5. 5. Times/Sunday Times: “Unofficial” Metrics<br />Online: 54% w/ household income over £50K<br />iPad: 60% with household income over £100K<br />Multichannel sub reach: up by 40% (July-Nov)<br />App frequency: 74% of subs daily or more<br />Web frequency (per user): x6<br />Times Online: One visit per fortnight<br />New sites: 3 visits per week<br />
  6. 6. News International: Metrics<br />GNM’s leaked analysis (for September 2010)<br />54,000 users/month behind the wall<br />28,000 = print subscribers<br />26,000 = “specifically paying for digital content”<br />Many digital-only subscribers ex-UK (13,000)<br />UK audience demo bias: Male, 45+, south-east<br />News junkies (more likely to visit other news sites than non-subscribers)<br />Data from Experian Hitwise<br />
  7. 7. The end of Times Online: reactions<br />Source: O&O, November 2012 (2,737 respondents)<br />
  8. 8. News International: Metrics<br />Times/Sunday Times: Home page traffic<br />UK uniques, December 2010: 1.22m<br />UK uniques, January 2011: 1.61m<br />For comparison: Telegraph =4.3m (Jan 2011)<br />Conversion rate (January data):<br />At 0.6% = 9,660 new web subscribers per month<br />Source: UKOM/Nielsen, January 2011<br />
  9. 9. Social marketing<br />
  10. 10. Social marketing<br />Caitlin Moran on Twitter: 66,000 followers<br />Times/Sunday Times: 250,000* digital subscribers (all platforms)<br />* = estimate (mine)<br />
  11. 11. Ad agencies: “My overall experience of dealing with this publisher is good”<br />Source: IPA Digital Media Owners Image Survey, 2009-2010<br />
  12. 12. News International: Known unknowns<br />Those “disappointing” sign-up figures<br />Opaque: over-interpreted?<br />What’s your yardstick? Millions? Thousands?<br />Home page traffic: strong & rising<br />@0.6% conversion rate = 116K web subs/year<br />If all purely digital = £12m/year<br />Minus churn, plus renewals<br />Sky-News bundling to come?<br />Ad revenue: the great unknown<br />
  13. 13. News from elsewhere<br /><br />Paid content site launch, September 2011<br />Metered, with “very generous” allowances<br />Big print subscription base = 325K (52% of circ)<br />Huge store of demographic information<br />Well-regarded online sales team<br />Competition double-edged for News:<br />Reinforce idea of paying for content<br />Competition for similar eyeballs<br />
  14. 14. Free-to-air: Mail Online<br />Mail Online: 54m uniques per month (ABCe)<br />Two-thirds ex-UK<br />Clear editorial strategy<br />Los Angeles bureau<br />World’s 2nd largest English-speaking “news” site<br />India? BRICS? <br />Reliance on ad networks in US<br />
  15. 15. Free-to-air: Mail Online<br />DMGT: B2B = growth<br />Executive enthusiasm but. . .<br />Board-level commitment?<br />Question: how will DMGT handle investment?<br />Risk of spreading resources too thinly<br />Shareholder response to new capital allocation<br />
  16. 16. Free-to-air: The Guardian<br />GNM: £40m digital revenues budgeted 2011<br />?£5m = non-advertising<br />Strong online display recovery<br />Paid content at Kings Place?<br />Mr Marx’s cash cushion: vs. cyclical online display mkt<br />International ambitions (US, Latin America. . .)<br />Online display: 5-10 years of 10%+ YOY growth<br />So: take the paywall money?<br />Or intensify free-to-air investment?<br />
  17. 17. Not your dad’s idea of paid content<br />In the wake of crash, UK nationals <br />experimented with online paid content. <br />Crosswords, archives, bingo. . . <br />but rarely the core product. <br />This is different.<br />
  18. 18. + contextual differences<br />48% of 82 European national papers offering paid online content (2007)<br />B2B: fall of classified & rise of data/workflow approaches<br />In consumer, some investment in value-added (Telegraph+?)<br />Online display can underwrite digital future for some, but not all. . .<br />
  19. 19. Peter Kirwan<br />@petekirwan<br /><br /><br />