Insights, tools and research to advance journalism

Paid content and paywalls (Page 2)

Paths to subscription: Nine common journeys from reader to subscriber

When you step back and look at all the things that lead people to subscribe to a newspaper—the background factors, the specific triggers, the lifestyle conditions, and the publication characteristics—patterns emerge. The survey asked an array of questions to get at all of this. Those multiple questions can make the results seem complicated because there […]

What drives Republicans or Democrats to subscribe to local news

In 2017, a Media Insight Project study used two surveys to evaluate similarities and differences between Republicans and Democrats in their news consumption behavior and their attitudes towards the media. It found that while the two parties differed sharply in their opinions and beliefs about the media, they were strikingly alike in their news behaviors. […]

How subscriber motivations vary in big and small markets

The survey featured new subscribers from 90 newspapers, which ranged from small papers to some of the largest papers in the country. This wide array of newspapers allows for an examination of whether the paths to subscription vary depending on the circulation size of a newspaper, as circulation size is often related to both news […]

Paths to Subscription: Why recent subscribers chose to pay for news

This research was conducted by the Media Insight Project — an initiative of the American Press Institute and the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research Funding for the news industry is going through an epochal change, the implications of which cannot be overstated. In the future, virtually all signals suggest less of the revenue […]

Digital subscribers: What motivates them to pay and how they are different from print readers

Digital subscriptions pose unique business opportunities for newspapers—they can be sold to anyone, anywhere, and have higher margins unhindered by printing or delivery costs. Digital readers also leave a data trail of analytics and email addresses that empower a sophisticated publisher to direct marketing efforts at the best prospects. But the digital subscriber tends to […]

After conversion: How to engage and retain new subscribers

Once a reader has moved down the path to subscription, the journey is not over. Winning someone over to subscribe is not the end of the relationship, nor is it the beginning. It is probably better understood as the middle. (A major issue, not fully addressed in this report, is reducing friction in the sign-up […]

What makes people ready to subscribe to local news, and what converts them

The consumer’s journey toward subscribing begins with engagement. How did the recent subscribers we studied engage with their newspaper before deciding to pay? The answers point to important and specific tasks for publications to reach future subscribers. Publishers must optimize content to be found in search engines. They also must have a robust social strategy—for […]

How much U.S. newspapers charge for digital subscriptions

The dual-revenue model of print advertising and home delivery subscriptions that historically sustained newspapers is fading. In its place, newspapers are pursuing new revenue growth through digital subscriptions. Weekday circulation for U.S. daily newspapers in 2016 declined for the 28th consecutive year, according to a 2017 Pew Research Center analysis. That analysis found weekday and Sunday […]

We’re working with news orgs on journalism’s biggest challenges in 2018 — you can get involved

All told, our team at the American Press Institute worked with journalists and leaders at nearly 100 local news organizations this year in our mission to help them become more audience-centered and innovative organizations. Those partners included newspapers and digital startups, public radio stations and local TV stations — organizations large and small. We helped […]

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