Insights, tools and research to advance journalism

Reader revenue (Page 7)

Early digital subscription models

In the 1990s and 2000s, most newspapers were hesitant to charge for content. Publishers feared that if they were the only newspaper charging for content, readers would simply shift to alternative sources. A few newspapers in the United States, however, adopted digital subscription plans before any others. These are the stories of those early models, […]

Experiments and future models for digital news subscriptions

Digital subscriptions reached a high point in 2015. In August, the New York Times reported that it had passed the 1 million paid digital subscribers mark. Digital magazine Slate announced that it is creating a metered subscription for international readers, and the technology news site Pando announced that it will now require digital subscriptions to […]

Publishers miss opportunity to collect data when registering subscribers

Today, news organizations are striving to convince advertisers that their first-party data (information collected from users on their website) is more valuable than third-party data from Facebook or Google. To understand how newspapers are approaching this challenge, the American Press Institute analyzed what user information is collected when a person registers for a digital subscription. […]

How digital subscriptions took over the newspaper industry

In 2009, with advertising revenue steeply declining, news organizations began debating the feasibility of requiring digital subscriptions. Publications like The Guardian, The New York Times, Time Magazine and The Atlantic published op-eds questioning whether readers would be willing to pay for news online — and whether such subscriptions would cause losses in readership and digital advertising. Despite these initial concerns, the […]

Paying for Digital News: The rapid adoption and current landscape of digital subscriptions at U.S. newspapers

Newspaper publishers in the United States have moved rapidly in recent years to create subscriptions for digital access to their news, and according to an in-depth analysis the landscape is converging around a couple leading models and price structures. As the traditionally dominant revenue streams of print and advertising come under pressure, almost all newspapers […]

The New York Times could be the next publication to ban users who use ad blockers

You might have heard: Some publishers are using varying tactics to prevent users with ad-blockers from accessing their websites But did you know: New York Times CEO Mark Thompson says it could block users who have ad blockers enabled, joining a group of publishers already do so including Forbes and Axel Springer. Thompson says that NYT’s subscription […]

How the ‘ladder of participation’ can convert casual site visitors into subscribers

An important question for news organizations with digital subscription strategies is how they can convert casual visitors into loyal readers who will pay for a subscription. With a strategy called the “ladder of participation,” Lior Zalmanson and Gal Oestreicher-Singer say that those occasional visitors can be converted into paying customers. Research by Zalmanson and Oestreicher-Singer […]

The Wall Street Journal is testing closing the Google paywall loophole

For Wall Street Journal readers not wanting to pay $200/year for a subscription, Googling the headline was an easy way to get around the strict paywall, but some people are noticing that this trick isn’t working anymore. A WSJ spokesperson told Digiday that they’re testing if closing the loophole would entice those readers to subscribe, […]

How to decide when to lower a paywall for big news

During this weekend’s snowstorm on the East Coast, The Washington Post and Baltimore Sun lowered their paywalls. That decision opened up important information to as many readers as possible, Baltimore Sun’s director of audience engagement and development Matt Bracken says. The storm also prevented many subscribers from receiving their print newspapers, which Bracken says added another […]

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