Subscription Media: April 7, 2021

By  Recuro
Apr 7th 2021
Read time: 
3 minutes
Table of contents


1. The New Yorker’s virtual reality film is driving subscriptions - Adweek

The New Yorkers first virtual reality film, a 20-minute illustrated spot on Chinese detention camps, led to 16 times more subscriptions than median video posts.

“The landing page alone for the film on our site has twice as many page views and contributed 16 times the number of subscriptions than median video posts on our site.”

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2. Four years into a subscription strategy, Medium still doesn’t spend money to acquire subscribers - Digiday

The amount of money publishing platform Medium has spent on advertising and promotion has been declining since they began ramping up its publication-focused strategy, and was less than $500,000 in 2020

“That number would be the envy of many subscription-focused publishers, but it also fell short of the 1 million subscriber target the company set in 2019.”

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3. Subscription strategies in the age of COVID: 7 developments for publishers - What’s New in Publishing

Concerns about reader revenue have multiplied in a COVID world, writes What's New in Publishing, while presenting 7 subscription developments that publishers should keep an eye on.

“At the risk of sounding too cynical, the increased digital readership is an opportunity for publishers to tout their vital role in providing news and information to their communities — and to form ties that can last after the crisis subsides”

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4. The Washington Post names new director of subscriber engagement, expands team - Washington Post

Washington Post has named Tessa Muggeridge as director of subscriber engagement and newsletters, and is realigning and expanding its Audience team to better support these two areas.

“We will expand the Subscriber Engagement team, which is devoted to strengthening our relationship with subscribers, improving existing engagement products such as live chats and sub forms, and conducting editorial experiments that bring our readers closer to our journalism.”

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5. 31 subscriber-retention ideas - American Press Institute

The American Press Institute has asked news publishers have subscriber retention can be improved, and gathered the answers into a list with 31 ideas.

“25. Decrease the amount of initial discounts, and gradually raise a subscriber’s price from initial discount to full-rate over several periods of small increases to produce a higher, more consistent renewal rate.”

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1. How publishers are using data to fuel subscription growth - TheFix

TheFix dives into how some publishers tweaked and tuned their subscription strategies as the extraordinary year of 2020 unfolded.

“The French daily newspaper, Le Parisien, doubled its digital subscriptions in 2020 by putting its best content behind a paywall. In just one year, it had 90% subscribers coming via premium articles. But that’s not all, the publisher also doubled its digital subscription revenue by raising prices. It went from five euros a month to eight, and then leapt to 10.”

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2. U.S. publishers tend to neglect e-editions. Is that a missed opportunity? - Twipe

E-replica editions have been successful as a part of subscription strategies in Europe, but neglected in the U.S., according to Twipe.

“A recent study from Germany shows that even in the younger segment (14-29 years old), 57% of newspaper readers now read e-papers. On our e-edition platform alone we saw a 75% increase in downloaded editions compared to 2019.”

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3. Substack raises more money, but is that a good thing? - Columbia Journalism Review

Premium newsletter platform Substack is raising another $65 million in venture financing. Venture-funded media companies have in the past been pressured by its funders to the detriment of its product, according to CJR.

“Competing with Twitter and Facebook is just one challenge that Substack will have to meet with its newfound cash. The other is just as large, if not larger: namely, meeting the demands and expectations of its funders.”

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