by Rob Williams, July 14, 2021
The growing importance of subscription revenue to news publishers calls for greater focus on strategies to retain readers and identify which ones are most profitable. Publishers should charge higher prices for their digital-only products, according to Mather Economics.
The consulting firm this month updated its list of recommended strategies for publishers to reflect the disruptions of the pandemic, which accelerated a longer-term shift to digital distribution. Its tests of digital-only products found that publishers have pricing power that’s comparable to print.
“Many publishers’ digital-only prices are low relative to their print prices, although we are working with many publishers to raise prices to their digital-only subscribers,” according to Mather. “One important benefit of this strategy is that it maintains revenue and margins from subscribers migrating from print to digital platforms.”
“Publishing has always been a platform business, acquiring an audience to sell advertising, and it will continue to be so in the digital era,” according to the report. “The increasing value of first-party data for advertising makes an audience data strategy imperative.”
“For publishers with scale, dynamic paywalls can help build your relationship with readers in the middle of your engagement distribution,” its report said. “Anonymous visitors should receive a tight paywall as should readers with very high engagement.”