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Why publishers are creating vertical subscription products | What’s New in Publishing

This year, Reuters expects 52 percent of media executives to focus more on reader revenue, and by 2020. Publishers can focus on how to more effectively convert and retain subscribers to major news products, or add additional sources of revenue. Recently we are seeing more and more news organizations experimenting with additional subscription products. To better understand this trend, delve into three reasons why vertical subscription products can bring success to publishers, including: Mcclach, Handelsblatt, New York Times.

Business Cases for Your Industry

The first claim to the launch of a new subscription vertical product is the fear of cannibals. Do regular subscribers who previously paid for full product downgrade pay only for subscription vertical content? Grant Belaire, Vice President of Digital Audience Development, earlier this year McclachRefuting this, insisting that the alternatives are actually changing completely. If a subscriber wants to downgrade a subscription, it is better to at least keep the subscriber as a subscriber than to completely lose the subscriber. At McClatchy they have long known that sports readers are particularly involved and loyal. Sports readers account for less than 20% of their total audience, but they account for over 50% of page views and can generate three times more revenue than other readers. To provide the best service to these readers, McClatchy has launched a subscription sports product called the “Sports Pass”, allowing readers to pay only for sports articles. This helped to switch subscriptions twice a week, and there were no signs of carnivory of subscription sales. McClatchy actually announced the release of a new subscription category this week that focuses on American politics and upcoming elections.

Image results of sports pass + mcclatchy + grant belaire

Puzzles are another area where newspapers have seen loyal people for a long time. That is one of the reasons New York Times A standalone crossword subscription is available for $ 6.95 a month. In fact, crossword is not included in regular digital subscription offers, but these subscribers can add it at a lower cost ($ 3.24 / month). The Times reported that there are more than 500 million crossword subscribers. In order to convert subscribers of this product, readers are offered free miniature puzzles, which the reader decides to develop habits and ultimately upgrade to fully paid puzzles. But comparing this method is interesting. Wall Street Journal Encouraging subscribers to try puzzles increased their overall retention by 30%. We will explore how puzzles will help develop readers' habits in the next report.

Once you have a payment relationship with your users, you will see everything the New York Times can bring over time.

Eric Time Coelln, Managing Director, Times Puzzle, New York

More than 50% of these crossword subscribers do not subscribe to digital or printed material on the Times itself. In other words, The Times can reach more potential customers with crossword subscriptions than usual.

YouAmerican men's magazine published by HearstDecided to reward the most loyal readers by subscription category. However, this proposal focuses on Charles Pierce, who has written in magazine politics for more than 20 years without focusing on a specific topic. After seeing more than 600,000 people visit his story every day, and seeing a 60% increase in page views for his story every year, he decided to build an annual subscription fee of $ 17.99. Subscribers have three stories a month and then have access to all stories without meeting their salary. As Pierce submits an average of three to five articles per day, this is a significant amount of articles that subscribers can access.

Gradually increase your commitment

Increasingly, more and more publishers are working hard as the registration barrier increases, requiring readers to send email to access content before requiring paid registration. It's possible that the registration wall doesn't have to fight against the incognito breaker, but the publisher can switch readers better as each & # 39; request & # 39; gets progressively larger than the last. Vertical subscriptions can be viewed as another step in this process of progressively converting readers into full subscribers.


Requiring readers to pay for specific content is also likely to convert. According to a study by the American Press Institute, 23% of subscribers decided to subscribe because they were interested in a particular topic covered by the original newspaper. This may be one of the reasons why this is a German publisher Handelsblatt Recently launched a subscription category for digitization of healthcare. Subscribers receive an email with exclusive content twice a week to help them make better decisions in their professional lives. This new proposal is just the beginning of more suggestions from Handelsblatt that focus on specific professional topics.

In our study of current habits we tutelary To be clearly seen in the recent release of the Subscriber-only edition product, consider the edition as the most powerful product for participating. That's why publishers across Europe have seen & # 39; new product launches & # 39; for specific audience segments. Especially successful L & # 39; Edition du Soir in Huest-FranceYou can see it as a different step in the entire subscription process. Focused on more entertainment and news articles in a brighter atmosphere, this evening edition attracts about 2 million readers each month. It's not a real subscription vertical product, but this example will help you emphasize how publishers are experimenting with how to convert subscribers to new products gradually.


Stay competitive in today's digital media environment

Publishers looking to stay competitive in today's digital media environment may need to start a vertical subscription. The advent of the following sports news subscription sites has seen more publishers launch sports vertical subscription products. Exercise. First launched in 2016, The Atheltic surpassed 500 million subscribers earlier this year and expects to double by the end of this year. Unlike most newspaper websites, The Atheltic has no ads and only focuses on subscriptions. They have expanded to nearly 50 cities in the United States and Canada and include about 270 teams of NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and college sports. Recently they also provided coverage for all Premier League football clubs in the country, starting in the UK. This launch saw a lot of athletes move to the sports arena in the British newspaper, which may actually be part of the business model. Alex Mather, co-founder of Atheltic, was rippled in an interview with the New York Times in 2017.

We will wait for all local newspapers and continue to bleed until we last stand. We will lose our best talent every moment. We will make them very difficult to do business.

Alex Mather, co-founder of Atheltic

With this in mind, it would be wise for publishers to invest in their sports strategy and potentially develop new sports subscription products. We can also expect other areas like politics, fashion and weather to come in the future.

Mary-Katryn Phillips
Media Innovation Analyst @ Twipe

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