Subscription Media: Oct 13, 2020

By  Recuro
Oct 13th 2020
Read time: 
3 minutes
Table of contents


1. The Boston Globe’s digital subscriptions approach the 270,000 mark - Editor & Publisher

It was only in May that ‘the Globe’ passed the 200,000 mark, and now the paid digital circulation has already reached the 270,000 range. But the new figure comes with a caveat: the Globe has been signing up many new subscribers at a steep discount.

“Even if you add digital and print together, the Globe’s numbers fall considerably short of the 1970s-’80s heyday, when the paper sold more than 800,000 copies on Sundays and 500,000 on weekdays.”

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2. After a failed subscription pivot, Quartz is up for sale after just two years with its new owner - Wall Street Journal

Online business news site Quartz has been put up for sale just over two years after it was acquired by the Japanese financial intelligence and media company Uzabase that sought to reposition the site as a subscription business to make it less reliant on ad spending, a strategy which seems to have failed.

“[The new strategy] led to a significant drop in revenues as the company transitioned from one business model to another, Uzabase has reported in its public earnings.”

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3. Guardian launches a subscription digital weekend read - Adnews

The Guardian has launched Australia Weekend, a paid for digital reimagination of the traditional weekend newspaper, but with the added convenience and portability of mobile devices.

“This launch is an important evolution of our reader revenue strategy, giving Australian readers a new way to support the Guardian through digital subscriptions.”

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4. Bloomberg Media aims to grow its subscriber base through a multi-million dollar marketing campaign - Digiday

Bloomberg Media has launched its largest-to-date marketing campaign around its subscription product, representing a 70% increase in marketing spend in the fourth quarter over the third quarter, to re-spark the success its subscription business experienced during the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“[...] at that time Bloomberg had a daily increase of subscribers that was three times as high as usual. Since then, there has been a decrease in new subscribers, but the total number of active subscribers in September was still up 131% over last September [...]”

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5. How NYT aims to reach 10 million digital subscribers - WAN-IFRA

In 2019, The New York Times set a goal to achieve 10 million digital subscribers by 2025. To propel subscription growth, the paper is betting on designing a deliberate user journey to create a deeper and more engaging relationship with users.

“Once a reader has created their free account, they are encouraged to sign up for newsletters and download the NYT mobile application. Historically, the company has witnessed a higher rate of conversions with users who have subscribed to newsletters or downloaded the app.”

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1. FIPP’s CEO: Magazine brands shouldn’t ignore the success to be had with digital subscriptions - Niche Publishing

Even though digital subscriptions have become a light in the dark for publishers during the Covid-19 pandemic, the fact that many magazines continue to ignore them is a source of disappointment for James Hewes, CEO and president of FIPP.

“The phenomenon of digital subscriptions and paywalls is global…There is not a country on Earth where this model is not working.”

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2. Digital subscriptions now account for 67 percent of Dow Jones' subscription revenues - FIPP

Trusted news sources and legacy brands have thrived during the Covid-19 pandemic, according to FIPP’s Global Digital Subscriptions Snapshot 2020 Q3. For instance, two thirds of Dow Jones’ – the publisher of The Wall Street Journal et al. – subscription revenues now come from digital subscriptions.

“Amid the dark, Covid-19 clouds hanging over the media industry, digital subscriptions have been a real ray of light. As consumers go in search for well-researched stories on the pandemic, they’ve increasingly gravitated toward trusted news sources and have been willing to pay for quality content.”

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3. Traditional publishers stand to win in scorched earth aftermath of struggle with tech giants – What’s New in Publishing

The Australian government’s attempt to make Google and Facebook pay for news looks might destroy media startups caught in the crossfire, while traditional publishers stand to win, writes What's New in Publishing in an analysis.

“In particular, lifestyle and youth publishers that source the majority of their traffic from Facebook face closure, while traditional media players who campaigned for the laws look set to be the relative winners [...]”

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9,1 percent

is the amount that media agency Zenith reckons that global ad spending will fall during 2020, urging more publishers to consider the paywall route according to FIPP.

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