There is a business to be had selling digital subscriptions to newspapers by Joshua Benton.
Quite amazing numbers for the NYT and WaPo digital subscriptions – I thought it is much less, even though I have a New York Times subscription. It is indeed puzzling why the same model wouldn’t work on the West Coast for LA Times.
|Newspaper||2002 print circ||2019 digital subs|
|The New York Times||1,113,000||2.7 million|
|Los Angeles Times||965,633||170,000|
|The Washington Post||746,724||1.7 million|
|New York Daily News||715,070||27,000|
|The Dallas Morning News||521,956||72,000|
|San Francisco Chronicle||512,129||57,000|
“So what gets you there?
– It’s frequent messaging that reminds readers of the value of their subscription — both the practical value and the values that buttress the case for supporting local media.
– It’s building out unique subscriber-only experiences that make them feel they’ve got an inside pass to something important.
– It’s not just creating great journalism — it’s making sure that the great journalism gets seen by the people who’d enjoy or derive value from it.
– It’s using customer data to determine what, exactly, an individual reader finds valuable about what you produce and making sure they come into contact with it as often as possible.
– It’s constructing tools that increase the frequency of a reader’s contact with the paper — email newsletters, weekly podcasts, smart news alerts, the right pushes for weekend content, and anything else that builds habit, the most important predictor of subscription propensity.”
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