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Utilising Digital to Reduce Print Churn

April 5, 2016 | Lucy Penn

Utilising Digital to Reduce Print Churn

Using an E-Paper solution as a way to reduce print churn is an increasingly popular model. The relatively low cost of PageSuite’s digital edition solution allows publishers to integrate a variety of subscription models which can add tremendous value to your reader.

You may think E-Paper is only confined to a desktop audience, but when you look at some of our clients’ optimised mobile and tablet web or app versions – you’ll let the pop-up articles take the reading experience well into the mobile world.

To give you a real-life example, let’s use this newspaper here, a daily paid-for title with declining print circulation but have a license to PageSuite’s digital edition and app solutions and are looking to use the E-Paper to reduce print churn. They currently have…

  • A print circulation of 50,000
  • Annual price of £150
  • Year on year print decline of 10%

By introducing a digital replica and offering more products at a similar price, every 1% you save is £75,000 in subscriptions. By offering a similar product of a lower price, every 1% you lose on print but keep as digital-only, is £37.5k in subscriptions.

So, say 10 customers try to unsubscribe, but you save 3 out of every 10 by offering E-Paper as a complimentary bolt-on… That creates £225,000 value. Or, say 2 out of 10 unsubscribe but downgrade to the digital-only offering at 50% of the original price, you create £75,000 value. Added to the 3 fully saved subscribers is a total £300k value.

Also, the average person who registers and starts using the E-Paper will consume around 75% of the paper’s edition. On desktop or mobile, web spend is around 6-8mins per session, on tablet it’ll be 12-15mins. On a tablet app this will be 20mins+. Can you build an audience accessing E-Paper on desktop, smartphone or tablet device to the tune of 3-10% relative print audience?

Added benefits of using E-Paper to reduce print churn:

  • Maintaining print ad rates
  • Collecting customer data
  • Maintaining cross-selling opportunities
  • Converting to a digital customer with some paid-for attribution
  • Selling ad space per campaign or on a direct basis through ad servers, including all standard units including; banners, MPUs and interstitials

Customer wants:

  • A basic replica – suitable for tablet and desktop
  • Enhanced version – mobile and beyonf
  • Seamless part of a membership or subscriber offering

Publisher has to:

  • Market and promote new digital offerings in print, online and across social networks
  • Subscriber  exclusive lead proposition
  • Use automated workflows to keep costs low
  • Minor PageSuite upgrade for web and app frameworks that integrate membership and subscription model
  • CRM tool connected via instant API calls for access/denial & customer data mining

Publishers who have followed this model report that their E-Paper audience is the most engaged across any product. Some digital leaders may struggle to get their head around it but if you speak to the publishers and their customers, the E-Paper resonates as a paid-for component with that key demographic. Monetising through advertising or paywalls are two of the other alternative models.

If you would like to discuss how bundling & membership strategies can reduce print churn, please contact for your consultation.