Issue #44 — Lifetime membership value: What is participation worth & how should we measure it?

Welcome to issue #44 with your weekly top stories in publishing. This week we’re diving into lifetime value for memberships, audience engagement, evergreen newsletters and much more.

We hope you’re enjoying this newsletter as much as we enjoy curating it — hit reply to let us know what you’d like to see more of!

💯 Top picks

Lifetime membership value: What is participation worth & how should we measure it?

“Members often contribute to organisations in ways that are not easily quantifiable, and most participatory contributions are often hard to distill into a single line item. Is it possible to measure the value of participation and, more importantly, is it something we should even be measuring in the first place?”

💸 Business models

It’s time to rethink your paywall strategy

Here’s what you missed at WAN IFRA’S Digital Subscription Summit in Paris, including how to review your paywall strategy and the importance of a strong product and a successful community.

National Journal moves away from advertising revenue completely & favours multiple revenue streams

Washington based business intelligence brand National Journal has successfully pulled away from advertising as a revenue stream and have shared their views on the future of their revised business model.

The Financial Times now has 1 million paying readers

A whole year ahead of schedule, the FT now has 1 million paying readers after adopting a data-driven approach and balancing attracting new audiences with retention of existing readers.

One week with Apple News Plus: a messy but good-enough Netflix for magazines

Last week we shared some of the top stories about the latest Apple announcement and we’re still seeing dozens of stories coming through about the service, including the news that it apparently gathered more than 200k subscribers in the first two days. The Verge verdict? Clunky interface, inconsistent design, and poor discovery features.

✍️ Modern journalism

Dos and don'ts of audience engagement [Podcast]

After raising $2.5m with its crowdfunding campaign, here is what De Correspondent learned about successful communication with Jessica Best, operations lead and engagement editor.

Guardian sets goal of 2m supporters in next stage of ambitious strategy

Here’s The Guardian writing about The Guardian in third person about their ambitious goals for growing their audience of paying supporters, with an aim to further offset declining revenue in other parts of the business.

👩‍💻 Technology

An evergreen approach to email newsletters

As email newsletters see a resurgence in journalism and digital publishing, staff at Harvard Business Review decided to test how they could utilise this format to produce an evergreen 8-week email series/course. It was so successful that they’re building other products in a similar way!

Facebook is working on a dedicated News tab that might pay publishers licensing fees (or quarantine news where most users won’t find it)

Although they’re aware that most Facebook users login to catch up with their friends and family, Mark Zuckerberg’s latest project is a news tab that would “surface high-quality and trustworthy information" for the small percentage of users who do expect to find their news on the platform.

🤷 WTF?

BuzzFeed bosses flat-out stood up their union

Tweet: “We came to the table today ready to meet with BuzzFeed execs about finally recognising our union. Five minutes after the meeting was scheduled to start, they told us they weren’t going to show up.”