Content Publishers Experimenting with New Subscription Website Services

TripAdvisor offers subscriptions; Facebook attempting to appeal to subscription website publishers; Apple looks at original content

Subscription website services develop out of necessity and a desire to develop new revenue streams. In today’s digital world, the opportunity to make more from these streams continue to grow as devices and accessibility grow as well.

First, we’re seeing TripAdvisor offer a new level of subscription website services. Barron’s have the story, “TripAdvisor is getting in on the action by expanding a service to restaurants that could help drive more revenue. It’s offering subscriptions to restaurants, allowing them to post their own photos and recent positive reviews closer to the top and to get analytics about users from TripAdvisor. The company had “soft-launched” the service in some areas in the fall, but is now rolling it out globally, according to Skift, a travel news and research website. Similar services are already available to hotels.


“TripAdvisor has been trying new ways to make money, particularly as its users shift to mobile devices. Advertising, TripAdvisor’s main revenue-generator, is a challenging business model because it’s not clear that cost-per-click rates will rise over time. Subscription services are a smart move, and investors should watch to see if they pan out.”

Facebook is working to appease publishers with the connection to new subscription website offerings. Subscription Insider has the story. “…today we’re announcing a new program to establish stronger ties between Facebook and the news industry. We will be collaborating with news organizations to develop products, learning from journalists about ways we can be a better partner, and working with publishers and educators on how we can equip people with the knowledge they need to be informed readers in the digital age.”

The article continues by listing the ways the content program will work and what the journalism project hopes to achieve. Here’s a look at a few of the highlights:

  • “Explore and experiment with existing and emerging business models, including free trials and subscriptions”
  • “Offer e-learning courses on Facebook products, tools and services for journalists. This includes expanding training into nine additional languages and partnering with Poynter to launch a certificate curriculum for journalists.”
  • “Give journalists free access to CrowdTangle, a tool to surface stories, measure social performance and identify key influencers.”
  • “Support local news and promote independent media”
  • “Continue efforts to reduce the spread of news hoaxes.”

Another subscription website launch comes from Quartz, reports Recode. “…Quartz is getting ready to charge money for some of its stuff: While the main site will remain free, Quartz is working on a subscription product, says Editor in Chief Kevin Delaney.

“Delaney won’t go into details about what that product is, how much it will cost or when it will launch. But Quartz has given a hint by announcing the purchase of, a small research firm that specialized in artificial intelligence.”

We’re sure to see many more subscription offerings coming to, and from, publishers going forward.


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