With storm clouds on the horizon, what’s next for subscriptions?
Relying on the support of those you serve puts pressure on content and quality in all the right ways. But as economic headwinds blow, there are forecasts of not just a slowdown, but a decline in digital subscriptions.
That doesn’t mean publishers should move away from reader revenue. But it does mean we need to be thinking carefully about the value proposition on offer, and getting smarter about it. In this piece for WNIP, I’ve drawn out some lessons from our interview last season with Toolkits’ Jack Marshall.
Challenging times often produce the best innovations. The subscriptions market will be no exception. Rather than simply throwing up a paywall, publishers should be looking at audience needs and working out how they can best monetise different segments. This will help shore up against ad market contraction and subscription slowdowns, while also keeping the reader and their needs as the North Star.
Are you doing enough to repurpose your content?
One thing which has made a notable difference to our podcast listener numbers and general reach has been using the interviews as source material for articles (see above!) so it’s great to see this comprehensive list of ideas for ways you can make the most of videos, podcasts and articles.
Twitter trials letting users edit tweets for 30 minutes after posting
…if you’re paying for its Twitter Blue premium service. This has divided opinion online, with some raising (valid) concerns about how it could be used to quickly spread misinformation. However, Facebook has had an Edit option for years: it labels anything which has been edited since it was originally posted, and users can click to see the version history. Why wouldn’t that work for Twitter?
Anonymous editors are a bigger problem than bylined reporters
Bylines make reporters accountable for what they write, but in many cases where things are misjudged, the editors should bear responsibility. “When I read something awful, I want to know not only who wrote it, but who assigned it? Who decided it was OK to publish it this way? Who wrote that headline?” writes Dan Froomkin. “When I read something terrific, I have the same questions.”
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