Publishers everywhere are seeing improved subscription revenue through premium membership websites, and surely you want to see the same results. In order to put subscription revenue first, you should know the three reasons why we think this influx is happening:
First, we all should be thanking Amazon, Netflix and other large online businesses who have trained customers to believe that using their credit cards to secure access to great content online is normal.
Back in 2001, our biggest problem was consumer fear around using credit cards online. The travel industry made the initial breakthroughs with Amazon close on their heels. Most recently, Netflix has become a massive subscription marketer with a trusted following for their video library on demand. Thousands of small publishers are now building digital membership libraries full of high-quality articles, video, and software tools using a similar business model.
At Mequoda we currently market more than 40 digital content libraries powered by magazine and newsletter archives. The irony here is that as subscription-based publishers, you already have massive archives of content that is both incredibly valuable and often unused.
The second significant factor driving the consumer pivot to paid content is cheap high-speed bandwidth available on many devices. It’s easy to overlook the fact that consumers now spend thousands of dollars per year so they can access the Internet on their mobile phones, tablets and flat screens at home.
The consumer is now picking up the lion’s share of the cost for content delivery whether it’s being delivered or not. If you do the math, you’ll discover that one of the reasons that publishing on the Internet can be so profitable is the shift in delivery cost from publisher to consumer. This trend continues to move in our favor with Internet costs for the consumer and the publisher continuing to decline.
Finally, fake news and the mainstream media coverage of fake news has made consumers aware of quality in a new and perhaps frightening way. This is feeding their willingness to pay for content from a trusted source that has been curated and organized for easy access.
This is not something new, as the Internet has always been a content cesspool based simply on its unregulated nature. For those of us concerned with special-interest publishing from investing and health to crochet and history, quality is still very much a factor. Consumers want their recipes to taste good, their health information to be factual, and their weekend projects to have positive outcomes. Travel reviews that are consistent—because they are curated by editors with journalistic standards—is finally trumping the flood of user-generated content that can be tainted by malicious players of all stripes.
The Internet is both creator and disrupter, and those who prosper in the 21st century will do so with high-quality content and an effective and efficient subscription marketing strategy. That’s how you will be able to put subscription revenue first.
If you’re a legacy publisher with a strong archive of content and the desire to make the Internet your biggest source of new magazine, newsletter and membership sales, please schedule a free consultation with our executive team. We would love to work together to develop a premium membership website that leverages your content archive and brand.