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5 interesting subscription models implemented by well-known publishers

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INTERESTING
SUBSCRIPTION
MODELS
5

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We’re PressPad – the company that creates
mobile magazine apps, digital newsstands for
PDF issues, and WordPress-based new...

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The New York Times
01

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5 interesting subscription models implemented by well-known publishers

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The subscription model which is appropriately tailored to the needs of readers is a win-win strategy that allows achieving both sides’ goals. It’s possible when the customers receive value from the subscription. Only then will they be more likely to renew the subscription, and they’ll probably do it at an increased rate. The customers that don’t receive value, will return to the marketplace to look for different products that are better for them.

Let’s take a look at five interesting subscription models that were implemented by well-known publishers. How do they monetize their content?

The subscription model which is appropriately tailored to the needs of readers is a win-win strategy that allows achieving both sides’ goals. It’s possible when the customers receive value from the subscription. Only then will they be more likely to renew the subscription, and they’ll probably do it at an increased rate. The customers that don’t receive value, will return to the marketplace to look for different products that are better for them.

Let’s take a look at five interesting subscription models that were implemented by well-known publishers. How do they monetize their content?

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5 interesting subscription models implemented by well-known publishers

  1. 1. INTERESTING SUBSCRIPTION MODELS 5
  2. 2. We’re PressPad – the company that creates mobile magazine apps, digital newsstands for PDF issues, and WordPress-based news apps. In this presentation, you'll see how big publishers monetize their content thanks to a paywall. www.presspadapp.com
  3. 3. The New York Times 01
  4. 4. In the beginning, The New York Times implemented an intelligent paywall – 20 articles a month free. Over time, the number of free articles decreased. Now, they offer: ● 3 free articles per month, ● unlimited access to their website and app (€0.75/week). With more than 6m paying online readers, they are the digital subscriptions leader. Their success is based on focusing on the customer, investing in high-quality journalism, and continuously developing the subscription offer.
  5. 5. Vogue 02
  6. 6. The digital offer is an addition to the printed version; a catalyst for selling print magazine. While the print version typically includes long, detailed interviews with celebrities, in the digital magazine we can find additional online micro-content, e.g. Q&A videos. This digital version is a nod to digital publishing changes and the sign that Vogue has kept up with the trend. Vogue puts Instagram first in its development strategy. Each month, their online content receives 56 million monthly unique digital users worldwide and has, in total, 141 million followers across its social platforms.
  7. 7. BILD 03
  8. 8. On BILD's website, you'll find free and paid articles. The paid ones are marked with BILD+. The subscription appears in two versions: ● access to all digital content including articles, videos and apps (the best-selling product for which 94 percent of its users pay), ● the e-paper version of the printed newspaper together with the basic digital bundle. In January 2020, 458,942 readers used the paid digital service which is the best result in Europe and the fifth in the world by subscribers number.
  9. 9. The secret to their success is video content. They show in leveraging its power to drive subscriptions. The company offers one-minute-long videos that are available to everyone on their websites, putting its more in-depth video stories behind the BILD+ paywall. Their example shows that video paywalls can be terrific ways for media companies to generate significant revenue. www.presspadapp.com
  10. 10. The Athletic 04
  11. 11. They leverage an ad-free, subscription-only model. As of July 2019, they have obtained over 500,000 subscribers. They use a paywall model from the very beginning. The founders have never wanted the readers to encounter distracting pop-ups or autoplay videos – people have to get a non-distracting, pleasurable experience when reading. We can check only a few sentences from a given article for free. The subscriptions have two versions. www.presspadapp.com
  12. 12. The Athletic experiments with advertising but not on the main website. They launched a daily podcast called The LeadNew that is published entirely outside its paywall. It features ads, and its ultimate goal is to attract potential subscribers. www.presspadapp.com
  13. 13. The Independent 05
  14. 14. They decided to resign from print in 2016 and started focusing only on the digital sphere. In 2020 they announced a 9 percent jump in their annual turnover and the third consecutive year of profits since its switch to a fully digital publisher. They offer readers exclusive editorial content, an ad-free live website, an app experience, and “closer interaction” with its journalists. They provide two subscription packages: Independent Premium and The Independent Daily Edition.
  15. 15. The digital strategy implementation was based on identifying who their readers are, what content will sufficiently engage them, and how to increase the likelihood of subscription. Since The Independent let go of its print edition, the newsroom has been able to fully focus on the development of digital issues and the newsletter which is the main driver for their subscriptions increase. This example makes us wonder how many newspapers will follow this path in the future – letting go of the print to spread wings in the digital.
  16. 16. As you can see, the biggest players use subscription strategies successfully. It doesn’t mean that only giants can benefit from using this method. The paywall also pays off for smaller publishers. www.presspadapp.com
  17. 17. If you need advice on how to implement a subscription model and paywall, let us know. We are here to help. www.presspadapp.com @presspadapp PressPad LinkedIn +1 888 712 0331

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