Subscription Media: Jan 19, 2021

By  Recuro
Jan 19th 2021
Read time: 
3 minutes
Table of contents


1. Gannett aiming for 10 million digital subscriptions within five years – USA Today

The American newspaper group Gannett, which owns USA Today and a number of local newspapers, reached 1 million digital subscribers during the third quarter of last year. Now they are aiming to have 10 million digital subscribers within five years, says the CEO.

“The goal comes as the company is in the midst of transitioning to what Reed has called a subscription-led business model. Historically, Gannett has relied mostly on revenue from advertising, print subscriptions and marketing services.”

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2. Growth in digital subscribers raises The Telegraph’s profits – PressGazette

The Telegraph made a profit of 6.2 million pounds in 2019 and expects a “significant improvement” for 2020, despite the pandemic hitting advertising revenue and casual newspaper sales. The reason: The number of digital subscribers grew by 60 percent to just under 349,000 during January to November last year.

“In 2019 the newspaper group made £6.2m in pre-tax profit, up 600% from 2018 but still the third lowest profit level since [2004]”

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3. The largest Baltic media group increased their digital subscriptions by 73 percent – Press release

The number of digital subscriptions of the largest Baltic media group, AS Ekspress Grupp increased by 73% across all Baltic States and totalled 81 254 at the end of December 2020.

“The driver behind the growth of subscriptions was the change in the attitudes and habits of people who are more willing to pay for digital content in their home language. The general background also supported this change – in the world dominated by fragmented information societies, objective journalism is increasingly more appreciated.”

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4. Axios launches subscription service to help companies write like its reporters—for $10,000 a year, or more – Wall Street Journal

News startup Axios is set to launch a communications platform that will enable businesses to update their employees—including through internal newsletters—in Axios’s just-the-facts, bullet-point style. The platform, that would cost at least $10,000 a year depending on a customer’s size, is the first paid-subscription product launched by the digital-news startup.

“Subscribers to the platform have the option to add a service that allows them to tap a team of editors—separate from Axios’s news division—for writing tips […]”

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1. Consumers prefer free email newsletters supported by ads over premium products – Media Post

84.1 percent of respondents in the study The State of Email Newsletters: 2021 And Beyond are unwilling to pay to subscribe to a newsletter, even if they like the content. Most readers prefer ad supported newsletters.

“Media giants like The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times can get away with charging for content. But “the subscription-based model opportunity for smaller publishers is practically non-existent,” the study observes.”

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2. How used subscriber-exclusive stories to drive digital subscriptions – Better News

Prioritize digital subscribers over page views, and provide subscriber-only stories on topics that are vital and unique to your community. That’s the formula that has led local news outlet NorthJersey to increase the number of digital subscribers by 145 percent in one and a half years.

“We also thought reporters would immediately be on board with having stories behind the paywall because it was a departure from the page view model that at times put pressure on journalists to produce “viral” copy. However, many expressed that it was important for their stories to be seen by as many people as possible.”

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3. WhatsApp offers a potential subscription journey for media companies – INMA

In South America, companies have begun to switch from meeting customers via social media to WhatsApp – and it is a channel that the media too could experiment with to reach younger generations, writes INMA.

“The potential opportunity is that the last several months have positioned WhatsApp as a place to acquire goods and services, with a low entry to develop and low entry to use.”

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4. Reuters Institute: High-quality journalism will accelerate subscriptions –

News is riding the subscription wave, but also has to contend with all the other subscriptions that people have, says Reuters Institute’s senior research associate Nic Newman. The key then, according to him, is to go for high-quality journalism.

“According to the research, people are prepared to pay for independent, trusted journalism which is good news for independent journalists.”

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