Delivering digital journal subscription development | What’s New in Publishing


The most recent UK publishing business subscription figures confirmed digital journal subscription development growing for publishers.

Total digital version gross sales grew by 20% in 2021, up from about 1.5 million in 2020 to surpass 2 million final 12 months. However, except for The Economist, general numbers are nonetheless comparatively low.


  • The Economist reached almost a million subscribers in 2021, in accordance with the newest ABC report after posting a rise in world digital circulation of 14%. The weekly accounts for nearly half of all digital journal subscriptions audited by ABC within the UK.
  • Though nearly all publishers noticed vital digital journal subscription development – most in double figures – the mixed subscription numbers of the remaining titles within the prime ten solely add as much as a couple of quarter of The Economist’s subscription whole. Time Journal’s EMEA version is second on the record averaging lower than 38,000 gross sales per week.
  • The success of the Economist’s digital version is defined by the title’s early paywall introduction, blocking entry to archived editorial content material since 2009. In line with its newest ABC audit, its whole digital circulation is made up of paid subscribers.

Development methods

Though main titles, from Moneyweek to Males’s Well being, have a protracted strategy to go to meet up with the Economist, publishers see actual potential in digital subscriptions.

  • Sam Gallimore, chief buyer officer at Bauer Media within the UK advised Press Gazette that the corporate has a profitable and rising subscription enterprise with a lot of its titles ‘pivoting’ to a direct and recurring income mannequin. He confirms the significance of locking content material behind a paywall: 

Placing journal content material behind a paywall may help with increasing viewers attain and concentrating on completely different teams of shoppers.

  • Separating informal readers from dedicated audiences permits the writer to construct an understanding of content material consumption patterns and tailor product choices and pricing. Article collections can be utilized to introduce new readers to a model with out requiring any dedication. In the event that they have interaction, the writer can goal them with extra content material and start to upsell them to a membership.

Lengthy-term worth

Jess Burney, subscriptions managing director at Instant Media advised Press Gazette some companies are ‘merely excellent’ for subscriptions.

  • She explains that when you’ve got a clearly outlined buyer base that wants or desires your product frequently, and you’ll ship your product instantly cost-effectively, investing in a subscription mannequin will dramatically enhance long-term profitability, money circulation and firm worth.
  • She says publishers with particular curiosity content material, direct entry to communities and seamless digital paywalls are seeing success. Nevertheless, growing subscription success does contain upfront funding in advertising and marketing, buyer expertise, achievement and know-how.

Corporations who’re obsessed with information and undertake a take a look at and study tradition are setting the bar for greatest follow.

Multi-channel growth

Digital newsstand Readly, working with 1,200 publishers globally, recommends adopting a multi-channel method to subscription growth. Head of content material Chris Crouchman suggests working with a wide range of companions to check engagement lifetime worth.

Don’t be afraid to check out new routes and use the huge quantities of information accessible.

This piece was initially printed in Spiny Developments and is re-published with permission. Spiny Developments delivers updates and evaluation on the business information it’s essential to keep on prime of for those who’re operating a media and publishing enterprise. Subscribe to a weekly e-mail roundup right here.


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