Issue #20 — The balancing act: subscribers or ads?

Happy Sunday folks! Here’s this weeks digest of the biggest news in publishing. Thanks a lot for being a subscriber. If you’d like to share this newsletter with a friend, send them here! 📬


💯 Top picks

Are your future subscribers *really* using logic to justify their purchases?

Cole Schafer shares some common patterns about the psychology of selling. Whether you are selling products or services, this one is worth 10 minutes of your time! 💡

💸 Business models

How Stat Plus reached 50 percent of revenue with premium subscriptions in biotech

Stat Plus is a premium subscription in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries. It costs $299 a year to be a member, and it’s been a huge hit with professionals, despite most of their content being free!

The Boston Globe: Digital subscriptions have slowed down in 2018

The news outlet had planned to hit 100k subscribers in the first half of the year after seeing enormous growth in 2017, but they have only just hit this milestone and have quietly announced it via Twitter.

The New York Times plans to hit it's 10 million subscriber goal... using T-shirts

While the Boston Globe is slowly reaching milestones, the New York Times has a team of 100 consumer marketing and retention experts working on hitting their 10 million subscriber goal. Some of their strategies include branded T-shirts and day trips.

The difficult challenge of balancing subscribers and ads

Ads might be less popular these days, but they’re still relevant. The challenge is how to do both when your end-goal is to get new subscribers to sign up for a membership. Here’s how The Washington Post do it! (Spoiler: It’s not easy!)

✍️ Modern journalism

Newspapers are failing the public on climate change

An eye opening piece on the way climate change is being reported: “Our business model doesn’t allow us to do journalism in the public interest. So, instead, we’ll write about what interests the public.”

The Great Disconnect: How journalists at local and national outlets are evolving different skill sets

“It’s as if local and national news—or more precisely, local legacy media and national digital media—reside on separate islands in the Galápagos, evolving with their own needs and characteristics.”

👩‍💻 Technology

Agencies are moving half of their advertising budget from Google to Amazon

While Google’s search ad platform is flattening in favour of other Google platforms like YouTube, agency budgets are being redistributed to the fast-growing Amazon ad platform.

Google may actually be a beneficiary of GDPR

This study suggests that thanks to its dominant market position, Google benefits from GDPR (or at least isn’t any worse off), while smaller advertisers have lost significant reach.

🤷 WTF?

Learn about climate change... while playing Fortnite

When scientist Katharine Hayhoe struggled to get her message across about climate change while her 11-year old got thousands of views for a Fortnite video, the idea was born to merge the two things together - this is actually pretty cool 😎