“Never stop challenging yourself”: Lessons from Scandinavian Publishers

“We owe it to ourselves and our communities to grow our digital revenues, in order to sustain quality journalism in our societies,” says Lena Samuelsson, Publisher and CEO of Aftonbladet. This Swedish tabloid, owned by Schibsted, was one of the very first newspapers in the world to introduce a paywall in 2003. Since that launch,[…]

Are you developing your paywall strategy for acquisition or retention?

We know that more and more publishers are focusing on reader revenue strategies this year (52% of news executives state subscriptions will be their main revenue focus in 2019). That means paywall strategies are often being rethought, from The New York Times ending the incognito loophole with its paywall or Neue Zürcher Zeitung tweaking its[…]

Stories: the format publishers need to take seriously

Increasing engagement, reaching younger audiences, habit formation…all topics keeping leaders of the news media industry up at night. While there is no magic bullet (and indeed you should be sceptical of any promised panacea, à la ‘pivot to video’), many publishers have been undervaluing one potential strategy: the Stories format. First seen on Snapchat and later on[…]

Reinventing the newspaper for the digital age

Recently we are seeing a return to edition-based publishing in the industry, whether it be through reinvesting in existing digital editions, getting out of the breaking news game all together (à la The Times and The Sunday Times), or through creating new digital-only editions. Today we examine further this growing trend, through understanding exactly what[…]

First signs of a subscription model for podcasts

In the second article for our “Business of Audio” series, we are taking a look at the changing business model for podcasts. Following in the footsteps of many publishers who are focusing on a “pivot to paid” this year, some podcasts are also offering subscriber-only, or early access, to podcasts. We examine this shift, the[…]

Building a long-term relationship with your readers

A recent survey from Reuters found that 52% of media executives will focus on reader revenues this year, and we know that leading publishers invest more in engagement than acquisition. So how do you build a long-term relationship with your readers? Today as a Valentine’s Day’s special, we take a look at what has worked[…]

Frequency is the highest predictor for retention

The latest release from the Medill Local News Initiative at Northwestern is another strong indicator of a changing perspective among many leading publishers. In a study of over 13 terabytes of subscriber data from the Chicago Tribune, Indianapolis Star, and San Francisco Chronicle, they found that regular reading habits were the most strongly correlated with subscriber[…]

Why leading publishers invest more in engagement than acquisition

A recent survey from INMA found that 59% of publishers spend less on engagement than they do on acquisition. This is a staggering number when we see that the most successful publishers are the ones investing more in their engagement strategies—for example Financial Times now spends 3x more on engagement than acquisition. This week we’re[…]

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