Digital Publishing Trends Multiplatform Publishing Strategy

These Subscription Publishers Are Seeing Increases in Audiences

Subscription publishers love to see surges, and that’s what’s happening at Washington Post, New York Times, and LA Times

We love to report on successes in the publishing world, and what better to report than subscription publishers seeing increases in the sizes of their audiences.

The Columbia Journalism Review is reporting on two publishers that have increased its audiences in the recent weeks. “The LA Times saw a 60 percent increase in new digital subscriptions in the weeks following the election, a spokeswoman told CJR. For the month of November, the paper added more than four times as many new subscribers as it did during the same period in 2015. And the LA Times was not the only outlet in the publicly traded Tronc Inc. newspaper chain to report subscription increases; CNBC reported the chain saw an average gain in digital subscribers of 29 percent across its newspapers, which also include the Chicago Tribune and the Hartford Courant.”

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Furthermore, the article mentions an increase being experienced by WSJ. “The Wall Street Journal in the days after the election reported a 300 percent spike in new subscriptions. “

The article continues by discussing the overall growth of major news providers, and the interest in their audience to pay for news and content. “Investors have cheered the new-found willingness among consumers to pay for news, bidding up the shares of publicly traded chains since Election Day, along with a broader market rally. Tronc has advanced about 16 percent; Gannett added about 22 percent; McClatchy gained 6 percent; and The New York Times Co. soared by about 16 percent.”

This brings us to our next article, from Poynter, which discusses the increases experienced by the Washington Post. “The Washington Post shattered all traffic records over the past year, passing traditional competitors and the largest digital sites. With monthly unique visitors pushing 100 million in the U.S. alone and 30 million more from around the world, our traffic has increased by nearly 50% in the past year, extending the reach of Washington Post journalism to a broader national and global audience.”

The article continues with subscription website information. “On the subscription front, we’ve more than doubled digital subscription revenue in the past 12 months with a 75% increase in new subscribers since January.”

What’s ahead for the Washington Post in 2017? It seems that the digital landscape will get some additional attention. “We will substantially expand our video journalism, which has already exceeded all projections and is becoming a key storytelling platform.”

The New York Times has also gained ground in its digital subscription numbers. Nasdaq reports, “NYT’s CEO Mark Thompson mentioned in the annual UBS Global Media Conference that the media company sold 2,00,000 new digital-only subscriptions since October, which could potentially add more than $30 million to NYT’s top-line. He also pointed out that international subscribers accounted for 13% of the total Times subscription base.”

We look forward to seeing more growth in subscription website numbers in the coming year.

By Kim Mateus

Chief Strategy Officer

Kim Mateus is Chief Strategy Officer for Mequoda Systems and the Mequoda Systems Content Network where she oversees strategic planning for the organization's 200 plus premium subscription products. Over the past decade, she has guided the development of more than 20 subscription marketing systems including I Like Crochet Network, New England Network and Your AAA Network. She and her team maintain an exhaustive best practices database of subscription marketing techniques and business processes that she uses to advise her clients and optimize the more than 60 websites that make up the Mequoda Systems Content Network. Kim is a frequent speaker at industry events and serves on the board of the Specialized information Publishers Association.

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