News Corp Australia started with a metered model, transitioning to a freemium model in 2015, Victoria Turner, general manager/customer relationship marketing and insights, explained at the INMA World Congress in London.

Why? Three reasons:

  1. There were too many backdoors to the company’s content with the metered model.

  2. Marketing the metered system was difficult for News Corp and confusing to the customer.

  3. The model was random.

The change is working: “Freemium has driven better conversion and optimisation from a subscription acquisition perspective, and it is now one of our key acquisition channels.”

For news media companies consider which path to take, Turner recommends remember to engage with your editorial teams. The individual newspapers that have been successful have been the ones that have truly embraced it and taken ownership from an editorial perspective.

In addition, remember that content doesn’t sell itself: A lot of our success has come through a clear and compelling value proposition.