Digital Publishing
2 mins read

Publisher subscription platforms’ best-kept secret: Global audiences

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, publisher ‘all you can consume’ subscription platforms like Cafeyn, Readly and Magzter, have seen a dramatic increase in consumer uptake. App downloads have increased significantly with high double-digit growth – Readly, for example, saw app downloads increase 62 percent in March 2020 compared to March 2019.

Yet one of the most striking developments hasn’t simply been the growth in app downloads, it has also been the expansion in participating publishers’ audience bases.

On Readly’s platform, 22 percent of viewers to BBC Good Food are readers from outside the UK, with other publications seeing similar upticks – British celebrity magazine Hello! now attracts a 25% foreign audience, whilst Time magazine, the American newsweekly, registers an eye-watering 69% audience from outside its home market.

Speaking exclusively to WNIP, Ranj Begley, UK Managing Director and Chief Content Officer at Readly, says, “In addition to expat communities around the world, there is a strong appetite for people wanting to read content that is not local or native to them. This (appetite) provides a real global reach to our UK magazine titles – attracting new audiences – which is of huge appeal to our publishers.”

Begley adds that across its entire platform, 10% of subscribers read titles not originating from their home market. Swedes (15%) are most likely to read foreign titles, closely followed by Germans (14%), with the UK lodged at 8%, as subscribers experiment and track their interests internationally.

English editions gain traction

Such is the growth of global audiences attracted to English publications, a number of international publishers are now creating English-language editions specifically to capture new markets.

Last week, in partnership with Readly, two of Swedens largest publishers, Egmont Publishing and Aller media, released new editions of their magazines in English in order to attract a wider global audience – ‘Hus & Hem – Scandinavian Interior’, a Swedish magazine with a focus on Scandinavian interior design, and bookazine ‘My Residence’, a special edition from Swedish interior magazine, Residence.

Begley says, “By translating some of our top-performing Scandinavian interiors magazines into English it provides further global appeal to these titles – attracting new audiences – which is of huge appeal to our publishers.”

The launch comes off the back of data which showed that the readership of homes and renovation magazines during the COVID-19 lockdown increased by 48 percent.

Readly is now reaching out to similar publishers in a bid to partner with them to find new and innovative ways to connect with foreign audiences.

As publishers look to diversify and find new revenue streams, reaching out to global audiences with a strong appetite for content that is not native to them could another string to a publisher’s bow. As Begley concludes, “English is one of the most widely spoken languages across the world, and a lot of readers in other countries will actively read English language publications.”

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