Press Gazette reports that English-language publishers – led by the New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal – now have 23 million subscriptions between them. Good work everyone, but a recent report from paywall-pioneer Piano raises the specter of post COVID-19 churn.
Piano says its largest clients have seen subscription growth averaging almost 58% over the last year. Patrick Appel, director of research at Piano said, “When you have news that can literally help keep you safe… I think it prevented some of that ‘I’m going to subscribe and cancel’ impulse.“
The challenge now is to keep readers paying as the world – and the news cycle – slowly begin to return to normal. The report looks at potential problems and possible solutions, from onboarding to prioritising annual over monthly subs.
Bauer Media has announced a partnership with Phuzion Media to make its print titles ‘fully interactive and instantly shoppable’. The new tech dodges QR codes and watermarking, instead relying on mobile image recognition. The reader scans a picture with their phone and is whisked off to a web page where they can find out more or buy the product.
Publishing was once quite a good way to get rich and maybe it will be again… so long as you can bring yourself to write about crypto currencies. Axios is reporting year-on-year growth of 475% in traffic to crypto content and new media companies like The Block, Blockworks and CoinDesk are cleaning up. Time to brush up on your Bitcoin baby.
In my monthly column for the International Magazine Centre I ponder my mixed feelings for the C-word. On the one hand Content feels like filler, the space between the ads, a minimum requirement. But it covers the waterfront, a convenient descriptor for all the things publishers create these days. If you’ve got a better word though, we’re all ears.
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