Using behavioural economics to convey the value of paid app subscriptions

Tips to better convert free users into subscribers

One key challenge subscription businesses face is that many users don’t perceive the value of paying. Google Play teamed up with The Behavioural Architects to explore how behavioural economics (BE) can be used to better communicate to free users the value of upgrading to paid app subscriptions. Continue reading “Using behavioural economics to convey the value of paid app subscriptions”

How Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet reached 250,000 digital subscribers

Swedish national tabloid Aftonbladet has become one of Europe’s biggest digital-subscriptions success stories.

The newspaper, owned by Scandinavian media giant Schibsted, has amassed 250,000 digital subscribers (at $7-$12 a month) since launching its digital subscriptions program in 2003, a lofty figure given Sweden’s population of 10 million. Aftonbladet made 255 million Swedish krona ($32 million) in profit in 2017, driven by both advertising and subscriptions, according to its latest financials released last week. Continue reading “How Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet reached 250,000 digital subscribers”

Future of news media: content, advertising personalisation

“The advertising industry long ago realised the benefits of targeting audiences that are likely buyers of the products they are promoting. “Auto-intenders” is a designation given to those individuals who have indicated an interest in buying a car through their actions online.

Advertisers will pay a premium to reach a targeted audience relative to a general one.Advertising products that offer audience targeting have grown at the expense of other types of advertising that do not.”

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Learning from the New Yorker, Wired’s new paywall aims to build a more “stable financial future”

Wired’s brand and mission may align it closely with the koan of the internet revolution that “information wants to be free,” but the days of unlimited free content at are coming to an end. Starting today, visitors to will be able to read four articles a month, plus a snippet of a fifth article, before Wired asks them to subscribe. A yearly subscription will have an introductory rate of $20 (final pricing is TBD), and will include access to Wired’s website as well as its print and digital editions….

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Spiegel Online CEO Jesper Doub on the pivot to consumer revenue, the duopoly and privacy regulations

Jesper Doub, CEO of publisher Spiegel Online, believes the time is right to create a subscriptions model. In a recent conversation, Doub discussed Spiegel’s reader-revenue strategy, the ePrivacy Regulation and the duopoly’s power. Our conversation has been edited and condensed. Continue reading “Spiegel Online CEO Jesper Doub on the pivot to consumer revenue, the duopoly and privacy regulations”

5 ways GaúchaZH increased subscriber usage

Let’s face it: We are all fighting hard in the battle for audience. The competition for attention has never been so difficult, and some global players are not that keen to play fair. In addition to losing users, we are also losing engagement, recurrence, and depth. How can this be reversed? For those who have a solid subscriber base, the answer is to put the user at the center of the analysis. And, have no fear to go offline to attract digital readers.

At GaúchaZH is a digital platform that recently united the forces of two major newsrooms in southern Brazil (Zero Hora newspaper and Gaúcha radio station). Our subscribers are mostly print based, so we have the challenge of converting them to digital. And we are doing it. Our paywall is a modern combination of “freemium” and “metered” that allows testing of conversion hypotheses, with flexible parameter management and different rules per platform. The number of logged subscribers climbed from 23% last year to 35% in November — a 52% increase. Today, more than 82% of our printed subscriber base has created a login to our Web site. To get these results, usage and database management teams worked close to the IT and development team. And they work hard.

Here are some of the actions they have taken:

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Reporters, once set against paywalls, have warmed to them

In 2017, Neil Chase, executive editor of the Bay Area News Group, gave his Mercury News staff plastic funnels imprinted with the words “awareness, engagement, registration, subscription.” The Merc was about to roll out a new metered paywall, and Chase felt the company hadn’t focused on subscriptions enough. Apparently, the message has sunk in: Recently, a couple reporters were overheard bragging about their stories having the most reach that month.

“They were both claiming being at the top of the funnel,” Chase said. Continue reading “Reporters, once set against paywalls, have warmed to them”

‘Our relationship with Facebook is difficult’: The Guardian’s David Pemsel says the platform doesn’t value quality

This article appears in the latest issue of Digiday magazine, a quarterly publication that is part of Digiday+. Members of Digiday+ get access to exclusive content, original research and member events throughout the year. Learn more here

David Pemsel, CEO of Guardian News and Media, is concerned about Facebook but bullish on the ability of philanthropic contributions to fund publishing. Below is our conversation, which has been lightly edited and condensed. Continue reading “‘Our relationship with Facebook is difficult’: The Guardian’s David Pemsel says the platform doesn’t value quality”

A research engine helped @dagensnyheter identify features that could explain digital churn

A research engine helped identify features that could explain digital churn 

The six most important factors were:

  • Monthly reminder invoices (digital/paper).
  • Longer subscription periods (especially amongst students).
  • Auto-payment model.
  • Iphone and iPad identification — subscribers coming from the iOS system was more valuable, and they should adjust their offer accordingly.
  • Activation — if a subscriber was active more than 90 seconds over the past week, that user would probably not churn. They needed to activate with the newspaper, through e-mails, notifications, etc.
  • No telemarketing — while this was the traditional method for getting print subscriptions, it was a bad idea for a digital business.

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