Issue #23 — Improving reader retention & reducing churn

Hey there - this weeks roundup of the latest news in publishing is bursting at the seams with stories about subscriptions and business models, get at it here! 👉


💯 Top picks

Improving reader retention: How Nordic publisher Schibsted Media reduces churn

Schibsted Media first put up their paywall 15 years ago, and are now generating 40 percent of revenue from memberships. To keep these paying members around, they’ve been building topic-specific customer journey models and learning what content drives retention.

💸 Business models

The Athletic are pulling investors away from ad companies with a $40 million series C funding round

“Our revenue comes in recurring payments. It’s a lot less explosive than ad companies — it’s harder to build — but the payoff is huge in revenue foundation.” – The Athletic co-founder Alex Mather

Using product testing to increase subscriptions and reader consumption at The Wall Street Journal

A six-person team is performing dozens of tests to get The Wall Street Journal’s and Barron’s audiences to read more and subscribe more!

This startup is going to offer ad-free news from a collection of large news outlets for $5 a month!

Tony Haile, Chartbeat’s founding CEO, has raised millions of dollars and made partnerships with several publishers for his startup Scroll, which offers $5 per-month subscriptions for an ad-free experience from a variety of news outlets. It’s set to launch in the first quarter of 2019!

The paywall that saved The New York Times from decline has room to grow yet!

In years gone by, The New York Times generated 80 percent of the revenue in the entire American newspaper industry - which has dropped significantly in recent years to 45 percent. However, the news outlet is still on pace to earn more than $600 million in digital with subscriptions leading the charge!

✍️ Modern journalism

How the BBC built one of the world’s largest collaborative journalism efforts focused on local news

News publishers of all sizes are partnering to “save democracy” at the local level; more than 35,000 stories have been published.

👩‍💻 Technology

This new project wants aggregate a bunch of signals into something meaningful to improve news trust

“The goal is to make those signals more useful and to help platforms…make better, more informed decisions about ranking and ad purchases — which we hope will help drive both promotion and financial support to quality news and away from disinformation, misinformation, and junk.”

🤷 WTF?

If you let commenters go after your reporters, does it hurt credibility with other readers?

A new paper looks into the impact of negative comments towards journalists and how it impacts the credibility of the journalist themselves, as well as the news organisation.

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