More Subscription Website Growth Leads to More Model Offerings

The Information offers premium subscription website models; Wired to launch paywall in 2018; NY Times lessens free offerings for its paywall

Growth in subscription website publishing continues in the digital landscape because of its success as a revenue stream. Today we’re looking at the evolution of subscription offerings and how digital publishers are being impacted by their decisions to provide subscriptions.

Our first story looks at The Information and its new subscription offerings. Digiday reports, “Having subscriptions looks better and better, which is why The Information continues to like the model.”

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“The $399-a-year technology news upstart says it continues to see growth in subscriptions and is branching out with new subscription tiers to complement the main $399 plan. Starting Dec. 4, it’s adding a $199 plan for people age 30 and under (“The Information Young Professional Plan”) and a $749-a-year plan (“All-Access Plan”).”

The article continues with another area where The Information is slowly growing its subscriptions. “The Information also sees a small but growing business in corporate subscription sales, Lessin said. And on the very high end, there’s also a $10,000-a-year subscription tier, the main benefit of which is in-person briefings. It’s less of a focus because of its limited appeal, but it does show The Information there’s an opportunity to grow business-to-business services that are highly specialized; most of the subscribers to that tier are people in finance.”

Our next story is on the paywall that Wired will launch in 2018. WSJ reports, “Wired is planning to introduce a paywall in January, part of a business and editorial reboot that Mr. Thompson says will help protect the 24-year-old tech title as print revenue in the magazine industry continues to decline.”

“Wired has not yet set a price for its paywall, Mr. Thompson said, but he expects it will cost less than a Spotify Premium subscription, which runs $9.99 a month. The paywall will be metered, but the magazine, which is owned by Condé Nast, has not yet finalized how many articles visitors will be able to read for free each month.”

The article continues with a look at what may be the future for Condé Nast’s subscription website publishing. “Condé Nast executives say the online subscription models at the New Yorker and Wired may be followed by paywalls at its other properties as the magazine industry undergoes profound changes, with ongoing declines in print revenue and heightened competition for digital advertising. The upheaval has led other publishers to look for the exits this year, including Rolling Stone pursuing a sale, Time Inc. getting acquired by Meredith Corp., and Rodale Inc. selling to Hearst.”

Today’s final story is on the lessening of free articles from The New York Times. Bloomberg reports, “The New York Times, seeking to amass more paid subscriptions in an era of non-stop, must-read headlines, is halving the number of articles available for free each month.”

“Starting Friday, most non-subscribers will only be able to read five articles rather than 10 before they’re asked to start paying. It’s the first change to the paywall in five years. A basic Times subscription, with unlimited access to the website and all news apps, is $15 every four weeks.”

The article continues with a look at the growth for the Time’s subscription website over the past year. “Fueled in part by demand for news about President Donald Trump, the Times’ subscription business has thrived in the past year. The Times added 154,000 digital-only subscriptions last quarter, a 14 percent increase in new customers from a year earlier, though many signed up through promotional deals and may leave when regular rates kick in.”

Does your publication need a subscription website? If you’d like to discuss how we can help you increase your audience, revenue and profits, please reach out to schedule a no obligation chat with Don Nicholas, our Founder, Chairman & CEO.




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