How the WSJ is building a community around its comments, why bundled subscriptions won’t save news, and more
Is there any hope for news bundles?
Earlier this month, Mogul News launched an app that curates article content from Bloomberg, The Financial Times and The Economist, for £9.99 a month. The app has fierce competition from other curators looking to bundle news at an ‘affordable’ price, from Apple News+, Blendle, Scribd and more.In theory, news bundles should be hugely popular. It’s a model that works really well across music and TV – think Netflix, Hulu, Apple Music and Spotify. And with more publishers putting up paywalls, bundled news apps should, in theory, be very popular.
But that’s not the case, and this week, Simon Owens does a deep dive into the reasons why most paid news apps have failed to amass more than a few hundred thousand subscribers. From a lack of exclusive content to marketing difficulties, there are many reasons why bundling isn’t looking likely to save the news industry.
On the bright side, the exposure that aggregators like Apple News offer presents ample opportunities to convert casual readers into paying members. But generating sustainable reader revenue is a task that must fall on the shoulders of individual publishers, because one thing’s for certain – the bundles just won’t cut it.
What’s new this week
In theory, news bundles should be hugely popular, especially given the success of bundles in other content categories like music and TV. But this doesn’t seem to actually be the case.
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Download WNIP’s comprehensive new report—50 Ways to Make Media Pay—an essential read for publishers looking at the multiple revenue opportunities available, whether it’s to reach new audiences or double down on existing super-users. The report is free and can be downloaded here.