« Facebook's About-Face | Home | Are You a Manager or a Leader? »

Are Subscriptions Your Best Bet?

Posted on Wednesday, February 28, 2018 at 11:58 AM

In the news: Many publishers are looking to subscriptions to ease their revenue woes. Is this strategy wise?

For publishers suffering from stagnant digital ad revenue and shrinking audiences thanks to Facebook's news feed changes, subscriptions seem like an oasis. But not so fast, warns Lucia Moses of Digiday.com: "While it's tempting to think reader revenue is the answer, the number of publishers that can pull off a scaled subscription business is likely to be small."

While legacy brands such as the New York Times and CNN are seeing some success with subscription products and/or paywalls, the subscription model presents an uphill climb for online publishers. Most readers are still reluctant to pay for online content, says Moses, citing recent Reuters Institute data. Read the full discussion here.

Also Notable

Does Paid Social Work?

Some publishers seeking to maximize Facebook and Google profits have directed ad dollars toward these platforms, some even offering subscriptions through them. For some, this "paid social" strategy has paid off and contributed significantly to audience growth. Steve Smith of Foliomag.com points out the apparent contradiction: "The wonderful paradox of magazine media's success in selling subscriptions through the major platforms, of course, is that they are using the same channels that have drawn so much ad revenue away from legacy media and disintermediated publishers from direct relationships with readers." Read the full article and see how publishers are using paid social here.

Publishing Layoffs in 2018

Several prominent publishers have seen significant layoffs in the first quarter. Kali Hays of WomensWearDaily.com reports that, among others, Hearst has laid off roughly 130 staffers after its recent merger with Rodale. Condé Nast has laid off about 30, while Vox and Newsday have laid off about 50 each. Citing Bureau of Labor statistics, Hays indicates that over 3,000 publishing jobs have been eliminated since November. Read more here.

Add your comment.

« Facebook's About-Face | Top | Are You a Manager or a Leader? »