Insights, tools and research to advance journalism

Reader revenue (Page 3)

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 […]

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 […]

Other insights

In addition to the archetypes, we identified six other notable insights related to how people think about news subscriptions. These findings are themes that emerged across the archetypes. They indicate areas of opportunity and useful problems to solve, and they can help to inform product development and content, distribution, marketing and revenue strategies for publishers. […]

Who pays for news in general and why

Despite an increasing number of free news options available, a majority of adults pay for a news source of some sort. Again, 53 percent of adults report they either pay for a newspaper, magazine, news app, or news site, or donate money to public radio, public television, or a nonprofit news organization. And 65 percent […]

Need to Know newsletter

The smart way to start your day

Each morning we scour the web for fresh useful insights in our Need to Know newsletter. Sign up below.

The American Press Institute

Our mission

We help transform news organizations for an audience-centered future.

Our programs for publishers focus on four things:

  • 1. Understand your audience
  • 2. Get your audience to pay
  • 3. Transform your culture
  • 4. Do your best journalism
  • Find out more about API »

API solutions for publishers

What we can do for you

API offers a suite of original tools and services for solving the biggest challenges in news:

  • Decide what beats to cover and how
  • Identify and develop the skills you need
  • Assess and improve your culture
  • Drive more reader revenue
  • Drive loyalty through accountability journalism
  • Make analytics work for you
  • Contact us to find out how »