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White Paper
Why a publication cannot do without a
successful Paywall strategy
Why a publication cannot do without a succes...
Executive Summary
The evolving nature of online publishing and readership brings into focus two important aspects that are...
This white paper crisply explains:
Why it is inevitable for publishers to monetise online content
How publishers can imple...
Why does a publication need a Paywall?
The world over, content is being increasingly consumed online, and most often, for ...
Audience engagement: Apart from the revenue generation angle, a Paywall is an integral part of the audience engagement
pro...
Paywall: Components, requirements and flavours
The Paywall platform is a part of user experience and is related to functio...
Risks for a Paywall-based publication
Failure management: The Paywall model should be as convenient as plug-and-play. A pu...
The Bottom Line
Going forward, a sound Paywall strategy will become inevitable for most publications. World over, several ...
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Bengaluru 560068
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KREATIO-WHITE-PAPER----PAYWALL.PDF

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KREATIO-WHITE-PAPER----PAYWALL.PDF

  1. 1. White Paper Why a publication cannot do without a successful Paywall strategy Why a publication cannot do without a successful Paywall strategy
  2. 2. Executive Summary The evolving nature of online publishing and readership brings into focus two important aspects that are relevant to the sustenance of the industry. One, content publishers are recognising the exponential growth of online consumers. And two content is increasingly being consumed from a diverse range of mobile devices (smartphones, tablets and others), largely for free. The transition hasn’t been smooth, though. Creating premium content demands high investment of time and resources. But financial returns from online consumption have been minimal at best. With the massive growth of online consumption, it is inevitable for legacy publications and online-only publishers to explore sure ways of monetising their content. They are looking to retain and extract new online subscription revenues without affecting website traffic or disappointing advertisers’ expectations or alienating loyal readers. Why a Paywall strategy is inevitable for publishers in order to extract new revenues and prosper in the online economy White Paper Why a publication cannot do without a successful Paywall strategy kreatio.com
  3. 3. This white paper crisply explains: Why it is inevitable for publishers to monetise online content How publishers can implement a successful Paywall strategy without disappointing readers and advertisers What kind of publications may or may not need a Paywall The risks that affect a publication when behind a Paywall White Paper Why a publication cannot do without a successful Paywall strategy kreatio.com
  4. 4. Why does a publication need a Paywall? The world over, content is being increasingly consumed online, and most often, for free. But providing content for free is unsustainable in the long run for any media house, however big or diversified. The primary business challenge is to evolve a model wherein the reader will be agreeable to pay for good content and analysis. To facilitate online payment from readers, the publication needs a sound Paywall infrastructure which automates the entire process of transaction, bundling, subscription, reminder and renewal. That a Paywall is absolutely necessary for the publication industry is a foregone conclusion. That said, some of the strategic issues related to Paywall are: Strategic need: With the perennial fragmentation of audiences across geographies, media houses have realised the need to rely less on advertising and more on paying subscribers as a primary source of revenue. Between 2006 and 2014, global news publications lost approximately $30 billion in advertising. Clearly, the industry needs a long term and sustained revenue stream beyond advertising. However, the positive aspect in this uncontrolled transition is that consumers are willing to pay for good content. Importantly, Paywall puts a real value to the editorial content that is produced quite painstakingly. Strategic clarity: Once a publication agrees on the need for a Paywall, it needs to gain clarity on the following points: Does the publication have a clear perspective of its content’s real and perceived value? Is the value proposition compelling enough for the reader? Has the publication conducted formal research on the readers’ willingness to pay? And how much? White Paper Why a publication cannot do without a successful Paywall strategy kreatio.com
  5. 5. Audience engagement: Apart from the revenue generation angle, a Paywall is an integral part of the audience engagement process. Can the publication strike an optimal balance between paid and free content so that high value readers are ready to pay for premium content and at the same time retain average readers can enjoy free content? What is the impact it will have on the publication’s topline and bottomline? Will it lead to loss of readership and ad revenue? Can the new revenues match up or exceed existing revenues in the near and long term? Is the publication willing to invest in the Paywall technology for the long term? Reader relationships: A Paywall helps in building a long term relationship with readers. One can extract deep insights into user and market behaviour that in turn help in developing more relevant, targeted and customised content products. These include time spent on an article, duration of the visit, the sharing pattern, propensity to comment and similar interactive behaviour Sharing information: A Paywall set up conveys a seriousness of intent and entices users to submit their demographic and psychographic information in exchange for high quality analysis and content Global reach: The Paywall helps in reaching global readers who value a publication’s content beyond the reach of immediate print geographies Pulse of the audience: Newsroom professionals know how the audience is interacting with the website content in real time and consequently tailor stories that are liked Access means: The Paywall infrastructure helps in knowing the hardware aspects like the users’ access platforms, formats, likely locations and time zones White Paper Why a publication cannot do without a successful Paywall strategy kreatio.com
  6. 6. Paywall: Components, requirements and flavours The Paywall platform is a part of user experience and is related to functional/technical design and suitability to the publication. From enabling specific parts of a website to one-time pay-per-view articles to total wall, Paywall models come in various types and flavours. Arriving at a successful formula for a publication calls for positive intersection of several factors, among them: Reader acceptance: A Paywall should work in a way such that reader loyalty is maintained without diluting the website traffic. Multi-site and multi-tier bundling: The model should be able to support multiple layers, like: Multiple bundles: Individual, institutional, trial Multiple tiers: Free, premium, freemium or metered Pay-per-view: A reader should be able to pay for one-time access of textual or visual content Power and flexibility: The chosen model should be powerful enough to enable the publication create any number of products with different combinations. It should be able to set different rules for different sets of readers. Setting reminders: This is perhaps one of the more critical aspects of a Paywall system. The system needs to be automated to keep track of expiring subscriptions and send reminder mailers for renewals. The revenue loss from a subscriber who does not renew membership is far more impactful than gaining a new subscriber. Seamless integration: The Paywall solution needs to integrate well with the publication’s other systems – storage, CRM, apps, payment gateways, fulfilment and others. It should also work alongside with revenue streams from print and advertising, and manage the transition. Compliance: The model should comply with search engine guidelines ensuring that the publication maintains its search engine rankings. Conventionally, contents behind a Paywall are not spidered by search engines and this affects website rankings. White Paper Why a publication cannot do without a successful Paywall strategy kreatio.com
  7. 7. Risks for a Paywall-based publication Failure management: The Paywall model should be as convenient as plug-and-play. A publication should be able to disable it at will depending on internal or external circumstances. Future readiness: The chosen model should not only meet immediate requirements but also evolve with growing business and technology needs. The secret sauce of a successful Paywall strategy is to develop the right editorial mix that takes into consideration the interests of both readers and advertisers. If incorrectly executed, a Paywall strategy can misfire and cause substantial damage to readership loyalty and brand equity. A publication needs to be aware of the possible pitfalls in the course of executing its Paywall strategy. Editorial balance: The publication would need to strike an optimal balance between paid and free content. It should be enticing enough for high value readers to pay for premium content and at the same time retain average readers who prefer free content. This balance ensures that the traffic to the website continues to be consistent. Impact on advertising revenues: As a rule, a Paywall (in any form) leads to drop in website traffic which may disappoint advertisers. A publication should be prepared for the long haul for the Paywall revenue to match losses in advertising revenue. Not for all kinds of publications: Paywall strategy works best when the editorial content is built on high quality research and analysis. Publications that dwell on regular news and do not offer any unique insights will not need a Paywall. Reduced discoverability: With content behind a Paywall, the chances of it being discovered by search engine drops dramatically, along with SEO performance. Economies of scale: Publications need to have large circulations, with access to a few million subscribers. The scale gives sufficient opportunity and time for the publication to experiment with Paywall models and hold on for a sufficiently long time. White Paper Why a publication cannot do without a successful Paywall strategy kreatio.com
  8. 8. The Bottom Line Going forward, a sound Paywall strategy will become inevitable for most publications. World over, several publications have overcome initial scepticism and have succeeded in getting people accept the Paywall model. As per 2015 statistics, The New York Times has over 3,90,000 paying subscribers. Financial Times has 4,55,000. Likewise, The Sunday Times (London) has 154,000. About 70 per cent of the world’s publications have their content behind a Paywall. By far, metered Paywall is the most successful model, wherein visitors are charged after a certain number of free views. More significantly, the success indicates that good, well researched content has a distinct monetary value, well beyond plain news. It is as much a positive sign for progressive publishers as it is a warning to slow movers in the publishing industry. In short, the Paywall is here to stay. White Paper Why a publication cannot do without a successful Paywall strategy kreatio.com
  9. 9. KREATIO Software Pvt. Ltd. 77-78 Anjaneyalu Plaza, Old Mangammanapalaya Road, Bengaluru 560068 India Enquiries: +91 96202 04508 Sales: +91 96202 04508 info@kreatio.com www.kreatio.com Disclaimer: All brands and trademarks are properties of their respective owners. If you are copyright owner of any of the images used in this presentation and will like it to be removed, please email a removal request to info@kreatio.com About KREATIO KREATIO provides a comprehensive platform enabling modern online media companies to efficiently manage all revenue generating operations - websites, apps, lead generation, content syndication, directories, microsites and event microsites.

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