November 2, 2015 | Lucy Penn
Over the last four years, digital subscriptions in the UK have risen significantly.
There is a variety of subscription models utilised by publishers within the digital publishing industry and they are becoming increasingly important within apps and for online editions as a way for publishers to increase their revenue. As a result of the growing significance, PageSuite will be publishing a series of subscription-based blog posts every Monday. The posts will spotlight individual subscription models and their various benefits for publishers and consumers.
So why are more and more publishers placing increased focus on subscriptions and experimenting with different models? Paid subscriptions are a great way of generating constant revenue and publishers are able to forecast their approximate monthly revenue. The use of subscriptions generally improves the average customer lifetime value and creates a sense of brand loyalty. There are also benefits for consumers, who find subscriptions more convenient for their active lifestyles and enjoy reading their favourite publication in both print and digital.
One key issue surrounding subscriptions may be the willingness of people to pay for content they can already access via several free online news sources. Yet publishers are able to offer added value to their subscriptions. Cablevision for example, gives their subscribers complimentary access to Newsday apps. Specialist publications such as the Financial Times also avoid this issue as they offer content dedicated to certain sectors.
Interestingly, consumers are not deferred by the requirement to pay for news. The success of hard-paywall subscriptions has been reported by publications such as The Sunday Times and The Times. After the implementation of hard paywalls, there has been an 8% year on year increase in digital subscribers for The Times. The Sunday Times also reported a yearly increase of 12%.
The vast range of desktop, mobile and tablet subscription options include; bundles, value-added, membership, digital/print only, single copy sales, recurring subscriptions, metered and freemium models. The infographic below highlights some key statistics relating to different subscription formats in the UK and US. PageSuite’s ‘Subscription Series’ will explore a selection of these models in further detail. Visit our blog next Monday for further information!