Reader revenue

Welcome to the Reader Revenue Toolkit

Revenue that comes directly from readers in the form of subscriptions, memberships, donations, events and more is crucial for the long-term sustainability of news organizations — especially those serving local communities. To help create that future, the American Press Institute maintains the Reader Revenue Toolkit — practical guides and resources to help publishers get started […]

Digital Paywall Converters subscribe because they want unlimited articles

Digital Paywall Converters are people who bought a digital subscription because they hit a limit of free stories they could read online and wanted unlimited access. Their willingness to subscribe is highly driven by seeing many interesting articles over time, as well as wanting to support local journalism. Demographically, they stand apart in many ways—Digital […]

Topic Hunters subscribe for news about a particular topic or issue

Topic Hunters are highly interested in one or two certain subjects—such as local politics or local college or high school sports—and this interest was a major motivation for them to subscribe. They look around for the best news available on these topics. They tend to be well educated (three-quarters have a college degree) and are […]

The Locally Engaged subscribe because they care about the community

The Locally Engaged are a group keenly interested in content about the community and its institutions, and they want to be engaged and informed locally. They say that access to local news is a major reason they wanted a subscription to the paper, and they closely follow news about local politics or their immediate town […]

Social Media-Mobile Discoverers subscribe after high-quality engagement on digital platforms

Social Media-Mobile Discoverers are subscribers who engage with the newspaper and its journalists on social media and read the paper on mobile devices. They get news on a cell phone often and use social media often, and they also interact with the newspaper through news alerts, following it or its journalists on social media, or […]

Journalism Advocates subscribe to support a free press

Journalism Advocates are motivated by wanting to support journalism, and for many, their immediate trigger to subscribe was either a concern about verbal attacks on the press or a response to messaging about quality journalism. Many Journalism Advocates rated their paper as reliable, noted the paper’s accuracy, and cited concerns about accuracy of other sources. […]

Life Changers subscribe because they just moved or changed jobs

Life Changers as a group decide to subscribe because of a transition in their own circumstances, not because of something the newspaper itself recently did. In many ways, this is a group publishers can take clear steps to identify. Many have just moved to the area, and they picked up their new local paper when […]

Coupon Clippers subscribe to get print coupons and save money

Coupon Clippers are pretty self-explanatory—these people decided to pay for the newspaper at least in part because they value the coupons they can cut out to save money in stores. They are less likely to closely follow the news content. Before subscribing, most of the Coupon Clippers used the paper’s coupons by buying individual copies, […]

Print Fans subscribe because they love relaxing with a paper

The Print Fans often like the “experience” of a printed newspaper. In their open-ended descriptions, they talk about sitting with the paper and having their coffee in the morning, discovering stories and spending time reading them. They also choose to subscribe because of the convenience of print home delivery, or because they have had a […]

‘Friends and Family’ subscribers need news to support relationships with people

The Friends and Family group subscribed because they found the publication through their loved ones and, in some cases, saw it as a way to connect with them through the news. The paper, in other words, is part of the social flow of their lives. The publication may have been something that they grew up […]