There is a surge in digital subscriptions for newspapers, but what does Trump have to do with it?
Newspapers seem to know how to handle digitalization.
As U.S. and European media enjoy and upturn in digital subscribers, a FIPP Celera One Index studied the causes.
An interesting finding among the research was that U.S, newspapers such as the NYT and Washington Post, who reached the million-dollar digital only subscriber mark, enjoy the success due to a “Trump-Bump”, as the controversial actions of Donald Trump have delivered a spate of big news days, and the successful deployment of dynamic paywalls have seen newspapers successfully convert readers drawn in on such days.
The 2018 Global Digital Subscription Snapshot Index states that it is important to note however that there appears to be a general trend which is seeing readers rally behind publications and the cause or mission they represent.
This could be party attributed to the impact of fake news and data privacy concerns which seems to be sparking a renewed interest in quality news sources which act as a champion for the reader’s own viewpoints.
Supporting a mission: A right method
“We clearly see that some readers want to support the newspaper and their mission. These emotional benefits are a relevant factor to convince people to subscribe (…) ever since I took this job I’ve been hearing more and more people telling me about the resurgence of print magazines.”
“I think 2018 might be the year when you start to see some signs of that filtering through into the numbers”, he stated in an interview with Mr. Magazine.
The Guardian, for example, has not implemented a paywall, but they have very successfully leveraged their reader loyalty by creating a membership scheme. The scheme relies on readers to voluntarily sign up to keep The Guardian online assets free to read (their digital app does require a subscription).
In 2016 they had 50,000 members contributing a minimum of £5 ($6.70) per month, by the end of 2017 this number had grown to 300,000. In the last year, they also had an additional 300,000 readers make a one-off contribution to The Guardian.
An international success
Not only English language news outlets are enjoying success on creating willingness among consumers to pay for content online rather than consume purely ad-funded content.
As European markets such as Germany, The Netherlands, Switzerland and Italy find themselves among emerging markets, quality publications such Mediapart in France, De Correspondent in the Netherlands, Republik.ru in Russia, Die Republik in Switzerland and Gazetta Wyborcza in Poland are being part of the upturn.
Q: Define quality journalism?
A: It is keeping watch on those in power for the citizens while striving for as much integrity and fairness as possible. Maintaining your integrity at all times, even though it is terribly difficult. Done with a critical, uncompromising attitude and maximum independence. OK, that wasn´t very short. | Writer, Iltalehti