Reader revenue

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 […]

Younger subscribers: What the future of paying for local news looks like

For several decades now, newspapers have fretted about their aging audience and the challenge of reaching younger readers. There are promising signs that young people are open to paying for news. Our earlier study of Millennial audiences (age 18 to 34 at the time), found that 40 percent pay for news content. How do younger subscribers […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

The 3 types of news subscribers: Why they pay and how to convert them

Introduction Who pays for news? Why do they pay? Who does not pay for news and why not? Earlier this year, we conducted a nationally representative survey to answer these fundamental questions facing the news industry. In the second phase of the Media Insight Project, a collaboration of the American Press Institute and The Associated […]

News subscriber archetypes

When it comes to paying for news and information, our research found that subscribers tend to fit one of three archetypes, each with different habits, attitudes and motivations toward subscriptions. Note that these archetypes are based on behavior, attitudes and beliefs, not demographics. That means an individual person’s category will not change over time just […]