The Daily Beast launches a new membership website option; Facebook allows publishers to test a new subscription tool; The New York Times expands licensing
Subscription and membership website launches are common these days as publishers tap into audiences, markets, and these renewable sources of revenue. Today we’re looking at content publishers entering this arena and optimizing their experience through expansion and the use of tools.
We begin with The Daily Beast and the launch of its membership website. Axios reports, “The Daily Beast, an American news, politics and culture website, is launching a direct-to-consumer paid membership service called “Beast Inside” for the first time in its 10-year history.”
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“The membership will cost $100 annually but founding members, the first people to sign up, will get 50% off. The Daily Beast said it did a lot of pricing studies and surveys with the audience to determine the subscription price.”
Beast Inside launched on June 27. The article continues with the bigger picture that The Daily Beast is looking at. “While expanding revenue streams has been the main driver [of this launch], on-demand access to information and entertainment has also become a consumer habit, likely helping news outlets in getting consumers to cash in.”
Next, we visit Facebook, which is allowing some publishers to try out a subscription tool for Instant Articles. The Drum reports, “Publishers are invited to make money through advertising or driving subscriptions natively on the Facebook site, instead of their own, under the assumption the social network’s users would prefer to access content that keeps them in the ecosystem.”
“Publishers are empowered to decide how many stories users can access (something the Wall Street Journal has been using AI to decide on its site). Furthermore, it can support time-based special offers and features a propensity model to understand the subscription likelihood of users.”
The article continues with results on the program thus far. “Early tests saw that users who had access to the feature were 17% more likely on average to subscribe to participating publications, Facebook claims.”
The Washington Post is an example of one early tester. Beth Diaz, vice president of audience development and analytics at The Washington Post said she was, “pleased with the test’s performance so far”.
For our last story we visit The New York Times, which is evolving its licensing and syndication options. WWD reports, “With re-branding and grouping of its syndication and licensing arms into The New York Times Licensing Group, the paper is aiming to expand both of those areas with more of its work showing up in aggregation and on radio and podcasts, starting with a licensing deal on Medium and an upcoming TV show based on the Times’ long-running Modern Love column.”
“This new licensing effort looks to be an element of the paper’s plans to expand internationally, which is key to chief executive officer Mark Thompson’s longer-term expectation that the Times will hit 10 million paying subscribers, a number that includes print and digital.”
The article continues with details on what the expansion will include. “There will be syndication and “co-branding” with more brands and broadcasters, as well as aggregators and app developers, which will likely be taking on a new “content feed” offering. Whatever the end result of the licensing expansion, the Times is moving outside more traditional news wire syndication.”
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