Issue #27 — Business model ideas inspired by Patreon

👋 Welcome to the 27th issue of Publisher Weekly – your trusted roundup of the latest news in publishing. This edition is packed with insights about business models, including ideas for different membership models, subscription growth stories, and how keep readers engaged.

Enjoy!


💯 Top picks

BuzzFeed News announced an exclusive membership for $5 a month

These new memberships will grant behind-the-scenes access to content. But according to chief executive Jonah Peretti, this is just a stopgap, with his ultimate business goal being mergers with other “top internet publishers”.

💸 Business models

6 membership business model ideas from Patreon

Independent creators are amongst some of the early adopters of new membership and subscription models. We stumbled upon this article published earlier this year – an interesting insight into how Patreon creators are making money from content and community.

NYT Cooking has attracted 120,000 subscriptions in a year and a half

The New York Times has four million total subscriptions but the $15 fee doesn’t include access to NYT Cooking, an optional add-on for cooking fans which is proving to be pretty successful!

Schibsted created an entirely new department to retain old subscribers and sell new ones

When the Norwegian media group noticed companies cancelling subscriptions for printed news, they reacted by creating an entirely new division with its own sales and marketing. Here’s what they learnt while repositioning their B2B subscription business.

✍️ Modern journalism

Mic Network sold to Bustle for $5 million

After several pivots, the digital publisher Mic Network has agreed to sell to Bustle – reportedly at a fraction of their valuation less than two years ago.

The BBC tested 35 prototypes for mobile storytelling - here's what worked (and what didn't)

Being the BBC means you have a research and development team that can test how to tell stories best for mobile readers. The good news is we can all learn from their research and this article provides a pretty good summary.

👩‍💻 Technology

The Financial Times is using game mechanics keep subscribers engaged

The FT are testing a new technology called “Knowledge Builder” which combines smart gamification and machine learning to reward subscribers for getting smarter and suggests more engaging topics. Their goal: keep readers happy and reduce churn.

🤷 WTF?

Other subscriptions that you might be interested in: Underwear, razors and skin care

Digiday take a dive into subscription models for direct-to-consumer brands selling replenlishable goods. Word on the street is that repeat buyers are good for business, no matter what industry you are in.

There's more to this story

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