Most read stories from 2021

Each week at Twipe we analyse key trends in the world of news media and technology and how this can impact subscriber growth strategies. Explore the top 10 most read stories this year. Any feedback or topics you’d like us to cover next year? Let us know!

1. Learnings from the 2021 Reuters report

In January, Reuters launched their predictions on the trends and changes for the media industry in 2021. As always, we covered the key themes from the predictions, which this year featured:

  • Subscriptions come out on top
  • Need to further diversify revenue streams
  • Focus on bottom up innovation
  • 2021 will be the year of the product manager

Reflecting back, these themes certainly were prominent for 2021 and we look forward to seeing what 2022’s predictions have in store.

2. How to engage the under-35s

Engaging younger audiences has been a perennial problem for publishers. Unlocking the young demographic has long been seen as the golden ticket for future success in journalism. The post explored some of the key tools available to publishers which could help to engage the under-35s, including:

  • Building habits from a young age through kids newspapers
  • Launching youth-focused subscriptions to entice in “Generation subscription”
  • Reaching out to the youth on the platforms that they use, namely social media
  • Keeping it simple and giving youngsters the newspaper feeling they appreciate in digital

3. Subscription Pricing: Learnings from publishers who dared to experiment

Knowing how much to charge for your digital subscription can be a difficult discussion. After all, digital subscribers still receive the same quality content on a more convenient platform. But, with the plethora of free digital news platforms available, publishers often reduce their prices to attract in new readers, almost reducing the value of their journalism. By taking a read through INMA’s report on subscription pricing strategies, we highlighted key learnings from publishers who dared to experiment with their subscription pricing:

  • Boston Globe balancing pricing for growth vs. pricing for retention
  • NRC and De Telegraaf daring to offer long-term subscriptions
  • Denník N tailoring their prices to their readers’ situations
  • Politiken using data to drive their prices and make a 400% price increase

4. Ten Takeaways for the Next 10 Years in News

The Twipe Digital Growth Summit 2021 brought together key figures from the news industry and beyond to discuss the next 10 years in news. Speakers including Steven van Belleghem, Nic Newman and Louise Story joined the summit to present take part in the discussion and provide valuable insights. From the multitude of information on offer, we summarised 10 takeaways for the next 10 years in news, such as:

  • News publishers must go back to basics in building deeper understandings of user needs
  • Better technology and data use will help rebuild trust and transparency
  • New product formats will be key to engage future generations

Want to register your interest for Twipe’s Digital Growth Summit 2022? You can do so here.

In April, WAN-IFRA released their World Press Trends report reviewing the state of the news industry in 2020. From the fruitful 97 pages report, we chose 6 charts that publishers needed to see. Because of the sheer amount of valuable content on offer in those graphs, we then chose 6 more graphs publishers needed to see! Of all the fascinating insights to come out of the report, we particularly enjoyed:

  • That digital circulation revenue saw 23% year on year growth
  • Digital and print drove similar retention rates, even at higher prices
  • Mobile use continued to grow despite the pandemic

6. Why newsletters are key for habit formation

The newsletter boom continued in 2021. Newsletters have consolidated their place as a crucial engagement tool for publishers. Their habit formation potential has also been leveraged by publishers across the world. There are many key tips and tricks that can help with the success of newsletter strategies, like:

  • Time consistency helps form habits
  • Personalisation is powerful
  • Finishability makes your audience happy

7. Audio articles: the next frontier in edition strategies

Audio’s strategic importance became even greater throughout 2021. We saw the rise and fall of Clubhouse and podcasts remained centre stage, but the importance of audio articles remained in the shadows. Audio articles present a creative opportunity for edition strategies and can help editions arrive at the next level. In fact in 2021 at Twipe, we will start producing an audio edition of our weekly blog post! In the meantime, publishers can benefit from audio articles as the next frontier in edition strategies as they:

  • Improve retention efforts for publishers
  • Act as an important tool for habit formation
  • Open publishers up to new audiences as news is the main reason people listen to spoken word audio

8. Key Takeaways from the INMA Subscription Summit

INMA’s subscription summit for 2021 features over 13 hours of innovation cases from across the globe. In filtering through all of the valuable content, we selected 3 key lessons that stood out to us. In doing so, we found that:

  • News publishers are having to revisit their product strategies to ensure they fit in with their market niche
  • Results from experiments with ePaper and print are still surprising people
  • The use of newsletter strategies goes beyond just engagement or retention

9. The Puzzling Case of Puzzles

Puzzles are extremely loved by newspaper readers and are the traditional habit forming tool of publishers. Although, how to transfer their success to the digital world is an area yet to be fully explored. We investigated case studies from across the publishing industry to look at how puzzles can:

  • Increase engagement with news products in an easy manner
  • Play a crucial role in the onboarding strategies of publishers
  • Be leveraged as an acquisition tool in their own right

10. News 2050: A 30-year outlook for the media

Prior to our Twipe Digital Growth Summit 2021, we launched our Exclusive Speaker Series. Here, speakers for the Digital Growth Summit 2021 gave us their insights on the future of the news industry. Alan Hunter and Nick Petrie, both formerly of The Times, joined us to give us their 30-year outlook for the media, predicting that:

  • Publishers must continue to invent and take risks to stay afloat
  • There will be an explosion of both information provision and capacity, and the time to consume it
  • Subscribers will be able to consume news from all languages easily to get a full global perspective
Matthew Lynes
Media Innovation Analyst @ Twipe

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