Subscription Media: Mar 2, 2021

By  Recuro
Mar 9th 2021
Read time: 
3 minutes
Table of contents


1.Twitter plans "Super Follow" subscription service – Techcrunch

Twitter has shared early details on its first ever paid product, a feature called “Super Follow", which will allow followers to subscribe to content creators and gain access to for instance exclusive tweets or newsletters. No launch date is set.

“[...] Super Follow” aims to combine the community trends of Discord, the newsletter insights of Substack, the audio chat rooms of Clubhouse and the creator support of Patreon into a creator subscription.”

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2. Gannett beats estimates for its 4Q results amid growing digital subscriptions - USA Today

The media company, which owns Usa Today and about 260 other daily publications as well as several hundred weeklies, reported a net loss of $122.2 million for the quarter but beat its earlier estimates for the period as cost-cutting and an increased emphasis on digital subscriptions paid off.

“[...] Gannett's momentum in online subscriptions, which rose 29% in the fourth quarter, compared with a year earlier, to about 1.1 million by the end of the quarter.”

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3. Facebook ends news sharing standoff with Australian government - Subscription Insider

A week after blocking news sharing in Australia, Facebook ended its standoff with the Australian government after it amended a new regulation requiring digital platforms to pay publishers for news content displayed on their site.

“Australia’s new regulation is similar to legislation being considered in other jurisdictions like France, where Google has agreed to pay news publishers, and we can expect to see more of this in the future.”

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4. Why ESPN decided to put some of its top writers behind the ESPN+ paywall - Digiday

In November last year, ESPN doubled the number of writers behind the paywall of ESPN+, in hopes of converting more people into paying subscribers.

“We felt that this group of people would drive additional subscriptions, while also making existing subscribers happier and more engaged.”

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1. Twitter takes a page from the news media’s digital transformation playbook - TheFix

Twitter’s proposed “Super Follow” function , that would allow Twitter users to set up a kind of subscription offering, is akin to how news media in recent years has been forced to reinvent itself, its relationship with users and the value proposition it offers to new readers, writes TheFix in an analysis.

“But as many legacy news media companies have found out the hard way, even though the path forward is laid out straight in front of you it is not that easy to change.”

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2. How big data and analytics save subscription firms from ‘involuntary churn’ - PYMNTS

Failure of payments might increase churn, which is why the analytics company Vindicia uses algorithms and a database with a history of more than 1.3 billion transactions, to find errors proactively.

“We look at what the underlying causes were [for failed transactions] and we work to heal those transactions, to ensure that the consumer who never really wanted to opt out of the service stays on. The goal is to make sure the technical aspects of the billing system and the payment network, in the background, do not affect the customer experience.”

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3. Why Insider is still thriving - Press Gazette

Insider (formerly Business Insider) today claims around 250,000 paying subscribers across its news websites and B2B operations – while digital peers such as Buzzfeed and Vice have retreated. The reason, according to co-founder Henry Blodget, is the heavy focus on journalism - and not 'news funded by another part of the organisation'.

“Buzzfeed was modelling itself as an entertainment company with a news division. Whereas we want to be a journalism company. We’re not trying to build the Disney piece.”

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