How progressive Front page content programming assists News Media subscriber business models
We are constantly asked whether there is any reason to apply the thinking of a data driven newsroom – and that of progressive front programming in particular – to media organizations using paywall’s in some way, shape or form.
Article selection and front page programming, whether that is a completely manual hand curated experience or one of sophisticated data modeling on audience and previous editorial tone, is very much something that impacts the paywall business case.
Let’s use the traditional and well respected metered model of the NY Times as a backdrop for the following three conclusions:
- Better front page programming moves readers towards the subscriber threshold faster
In Visual Revenue’s case, we help increase the number of people that reach the magical 20 stories per month threshold faster. Hence, if you have people consuming only 17 stories per month (and not reaching the limit), with our platform you’d see those people consume 5 or 6 more stories per month, simply because you had the right content in the right positions at the right time. This is NOT the same as decreasing the 20 story threshold to 15, as you would want to keep everything the same – including the positive sentiment when reaching the 21st story. This is a revenue increase opportunity!
- Better front page programming increases the sign-up-as-subscriber conversion rate
Moreover, people that reach the limit faster are not, to put it simply, “tricked” in the process, but rather having discovered stories they want to read on their own. Hence, we see that they are more likely to convert to a subscriber once they reach the monthly limit. The mindset of the reader at the conversion moment, given higher story read frequency (very much like traditional marketing), is simply superior to that of those who consumed stories at a lesser frequency.
- Better front page programming decreases churn
Once you sign up a subscriber, we provide a very traditional and well proven decrease in churn by increased utilization. This is usually a difficult to measure financial tradeoff, but as there is minimal to no cost in increased utilization (more stories read), it becomes slightly easier to conclude a direct positive – and quite profitable – effect to your churn rate (not losing subscribers as fast). We’ve all seen Netflix and others work this dilemma successfully in their segments for decades.
/ Dennis (@dennismortensen)
Nota bene (Icing on top):
I can’t help it, but this VR feature is pretty cool, you can enable Conversion Tracking and Optimization on the Visual Revenue platform and basically track which stories are more likely to lead to a conversion (subscriber) and then we can feed that information back into our model. Heck, you can even use these stories more aggressively elsewhere.