Subscription Publishing News: New York Times, Mobile Apps, and Ed Tech

Takeaways from the Times and Washington Post’s subscription publishing success; plus, Houghton Mifflin’s new Curious World and making the right moves with mobile content strategy

Subscription publishing is another element of multiplatform strategy that digital magazines must stay attuned to, as the landscape seems to shift every week. Most recently, paywalls for online content have rapidly wavered in favor, as publications like the Sun have scrapped theirs altogether. Freemiums and premiums rule the day, as do membership systems and tiered bundles, all of which can fit into the Mequoda Method and boost conversions.

Staying on top these trends is crucial to success, so what better place to consult than Subscription Insider to get the scoop? Let’s close out the week by taking a look at some of their recent articles.

Subscription Publishing Lessons From the NYT and WaPo

It’s no secret that the Times and Washington Post have cracked the code on digital subscriptions and other products that publishers can capitalize on. But how are they pulling it off? Taking full advantage of tech, investing in content, and forming partnerships figure prominently. And, according to Subscription Insider, they do the following:

“1. Maximize mobile traffic by offering products and services in a mobile-optimized, not just mobile-friendly, environment. This includes faster load times.
2. Embrace partnerships to reach new audiences. The New York Times and the Washington Post are both doing this in relationships where no money changes hands. They partner with other news organizations, hotels, other subscription companies (e.g., Evernote and NYT) and companies that can help them expand their reach.
3. Study the data and make smart decisions based on subscriber and non-subscriber behavior.”

More From the Times: Same-Day Digital Access for Newsstand Buyers

One smart decision The New York Times made recently was to offer same-day digital access to single-copy consumers in a promotion meant to bolster loyalty as 2020 approaches. What’s 2020? Only the self-imposed deadline to double digital traffic and revenue. As Subscription Insider reports, this is a simple, win-win strategy for the Times, one that even smaller publishers can experiment with.

Consumers are telling us loud and clear what they want—are you listening? Download a copy of our 2018 Mequoda Magazine Consumer Study for FREE, to find out how you can improve your digital magazine rapport with subscribers.

Houghton Mifflin Launches Curious World, Online Learning for Kids

The explosion of ed tech in subscription publishing  is a natural fit for young people, and Houghton Mifflin is maximizing the opening with Curious World, a $9.99/month service aimed at parents of 3- to 7-year-olds that covers science, math, language and literacy, health and wellness, creative expression, social and emotional development, executive function, and family and community, Subscription Insider reports.

Going Mobile Doesn’t Mean Going Mobile App

The reign of apps is coming to close, as publishers are realizing you don’t need one to succeed on the mobile web.

“[I]t was refreshing this week to see the just released Morgan Stanley Report that demonstrated that mobile traffic in the US market is two times larger than traffic to and within Apps. Morgan Stanley measured by unique visitors.  There are contradictory studies out there that show different results, however,  I believe the Morgan Stanley Report demystifies and brings a reality check to the hype,” Kevin Novak writes in Subscription Insider.

“Apps are still being used, of course. Do the results say you shouldn’t do an App? No, mobile apps are still an opportunity to create a container and immerse a user in the experience. A game app or similar as an example. … What it does prove is that you need to focus on your mobile experience and understand who you are and what you offer in the customer’s opinion. The mass adoption of smart phones with all information available at a few swipes or keystokes while in an elevator, secretly in a meeting, or walking to a store is becoming critical to time strapped people. Convenience is king.”

Subscription publishing is a science; we can help you find the right formula. Download our free Subscription Website Publishing Handbook today!

To read more about subscription publishing in the news, visit Subscription Insider.

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