Digital Edition Subscription Strategies

1 September 2020


Despite sometimes being taken for granted, the COVID-19 pandemic has once again highlighted the importance of digital editions. Publishers have had to ensure they can offer readers that ‘print-like’ experience across all platforms as many faced issues with print production or delivery.
For us, a digital edition is a product that offers readers a print-like, ‘completable’ reading experience and is published on a regular basis, unlike a ‘live news’ experience which delivers a constantly updating news feed, with no natural ‘end’. Often, a digital edition will more than likely resonate as a paid-for product with readers as it mimics the physical product. This has enabled publishers to successfully monetise their digital editions, increase digital subscribers and help facilitate the transition from print to digital.
Publishers are implementing a variety of strategies to monetize their digital editions. In a recent webinar, we looked at this in detail. More and more publishers are placing their digital editions behind a paywall after some initially gave them away for free. We have clients who combine the digital edition with live news content within a native app, and many will offer the live news for free, whilst placing the edition behind a paywall.
Many news websites are often heavily loaded with adverts, which readers may find intrusive. Therefore, we are seeing more and more digital edition subscription packages include ad-light features as a benefit. Other publishers are offering free trials to encourage readers to develop those digital habits and some are offering reduced introductory pricing to encourage readers to purchase a subscription.
Retention tactics are just as important. During the pandemic a lot of publishers opted to offer COVID-19 content for free, enabling readers to access some of their content for free. This meant that readers could get familiar with the news brand’s digital products without having to purchase a subscription.
Other publishers include puzzles and crosswords alongside their digital editions, which not only encourage the subscribers to return but also increases engagement.
Some publishers are increasingly producing additional content, providing added value within their digital subscription offering. For example, The Dallas Morning News produces an ‘Evening Edition’, in addition to their daily paper, which readers can access via the web or within their app.
Archives are also a big selling point as they enable readers to seamlessly access old editions, once again providing added value.
Watch the webinar to find out more
For more information on our Edition platform email