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9% increase in subscriptions during lockdown for Dennis Publishing

Free digital access to subscribers throughout the pandemic has been met with glowing reviews by readers

Looks like the long, good read continues. Dennis Publishing just announced subscription rates across all titles have increased by 9% overall during the lockdown and ongoing pandemic.

Since the beginning of lockdown the number of people subscribing to all Dennis titles has increased by 9%,” notes this article on the publisher’s website.

“To ensure an uninterrupted service of their favourite magazines, all titles have offered free digital access to subscribers throughout the pandemic, which has been met with glowing reviews by readers. The team didn’t rest on their laurels though, instead implementing engagement campaigns to get new subscribers to the titles, with huge success.”

The company decided early on to unlock free digital access to all subscribers, to ensure the mail delays wouldn’t cause readers to lose interest. At the same, they implemented new engagement campaigns to reach new subscribers … with great success.

“The Week Junior has seen a massive increase in subscribers with the circulation growing by 23% since the lockdown began in March,” the article continues. “The brand launched a new digital app so that subscribers were able to access all the content even when Royal Mail was struggling to deliver the printed magazine. It was downloaded over 20,000 times in the first month alone.”

Publishers have certainly learned a lot in fast motion about subscriptions during this crisis, and readers are responding well. This is especially true when the publisher can pivot quickly to the changing needs of their readers and provide content that becomes essential to their life during lockdown.

At Dennis, for example, subscriptions to Cycling magazine rose by 39% since January, as people focused on exercise as a way to manage the quarantine. Other lifestyle titles, including Dennis’ automotive titles, have also done very well.

“Although drivers were asked to use the roads for only essential journeys during lockdown, it didn’t stop the nation’s car enthusiasts from wanting to keep up with the passion,” the article notes. “Auto Express, evo and Octane all saw their subscriber bases grow, and helped to keep that excitement alive while we were all stuck indoors.”

Clearly, magazines remain an important form of communication for so many of us; as we glaze over from too much digital consumption and too much misinformation online, it’s a relief to lean back and enjoy that long read around something that truly holds our interest.

It’s been a fascinating time to watch the changes in our industry, with many brands boycotting Facebook ads and rediscovering the power of long-form ads.

David Pilcher
VP of Sales & Marketing, Freeport Press

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