Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

1. Who can join the service?

Online news publishers who publish at least one online news site can join the INMA Performance Benchmarking service by applying via this web site.

Individuals, and companies that are not news publishers are not eligible to participate in this service.

The applicants will be approved by INMA to ensure, among others, comparability of businesses based on their target markets, and size and maturity of their online subscription business.

2. What is the data scope and range?

At this stage, INMA focuses on benchmarking online reader engagement and subscriptions.

INMA collects from each participating publisher 20+ data points about online engagement, registrations and subscriptions of their brands, and delivers back the distribution of 40+ KPIs grouped by:

  1. Region:Europe, Middle East and Africa, North America, South America, Asia/Pacific.
  2. Target markets: national, metropolitan/regional, local
  3. Size of online subscriber base: 0-7,500 digital subscribers, 7,500-20,000 digital subscribers, 20,000-50,000 subscribers, 50,000-100,000 digital subscribers, over 100,000 subscribers.
  4. Size of the market in households: below 500,000, 500,000-1,000,000, 1,000,000-2,000,000, 2,000,000-10,000,000.
  5. Size of the website in online users: below 1,250,000, 1,250,000-2,500,000, 2,500,000-4,000,000, 4,000,000-10,000,000, over 10,000,000.
  6. Maturity of online subscription business: digital subscription launched before 2015, between 2016 and 2018, between 2019 and 2021, between 2022 and 2024.
  7. Content formula of a brand: news-niche, news-popular, news-quality.
  8. Paywall type: freemium paywall, hard paywall, hybrid, metered paywall, no paywall/membership.
  9. ARPU: below $6, $6-8, $8-12.5, over $12.5
  10. Lifetime value: below $85, $85-150, $150-225, over $225

The data is collected and updated quarterly.

The online report includes performance data since 1Q 2019.

3. How do you ensure confidentiality of my data?

INMA releases the benchmarks and insights on the market trends only in the de-identified form, with KPIs of multiple brands recalculated into indices and aggregated, and indices for KPIs of individual brands anonymised.

INMA shall not release any individual member’s KPIs in the form that identifies the member without the prior written consent.

INMA maintains physical, technical and administrative safeguards to protect the members’ KPIs, benchmarks and insights against unauthorized access, use or disclosure.

The benchmarking service is provided by INMA and the terms and conditions will be regulated by an agreement between the member publisher and INMA.

Any INMA’s contractor will be bound by individual service and confidentiality agreements with INMA.

4. How was this benchmarking service created?

INMA worked closely with key executives at member news media companies around the world to develop this subscription benchmarking service. This is a member-driven service.

A number of INMA members from all over the world participated in early research and testing of the online report. 26 selected members participated in the 2021 pilot, contributing the foundational data of 86 brands.

Thank you, colleagues, for your time, constructive feedback and ongoing support.

5. What is the cost?

The service is sold as an annual subscription.

The price is US$7,500 per year per publisher for INMA members and US$15,000 for non-members. In 2022, 2023, and 2024 a publisher can sign up multiple brands without extra costs.

The price for the service is competitive, as INMA does not tie the participating publishers with hardware or software purchase, nor consulting agreement, and the project is lean.

6. How do I join?

Publishers interested in applying may do so by clicking here. This is a two-minute application.

We will grant you access to the online report (dashboard), recordings of our meet-ups and presentations after you sign a contract and contribute the first batch of data for benchmarking.

You can join and cancel anytime.

7. When are the reports released?

Here are the most important dates for the program:

Upcoming updates of the online report (dashboard):

Schedule for 2024:

  • Report releases:
    February 14, 2024
    May 15, 2024
    August 14, 2024
    November 13, 2024
  • Deadlines for data collection (by the end of day CET):
    January 29, 2024
    April 29, 2024
    July 29, 2024
    October 29, 2024

Schedule for 2023:

  • Report releases:
    February 8, 2023
    May 10, 2023
    August 9, 2023
    November 8, 2023
  • Deadlines for data collection (by the end of day CET):
    January 25, 2023
    April 25, 2023
    July 25, 2023
    October 25, 2023

Thank you for your interest in the INMA Performance Benchmarking service.

Apply Now

Click here to apply

Questions? Contact INMA

Greg Piechota


E-Mail me