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The INMA Readers First Initiative aims to surface global best practices in the art and science behind digital subscriptions for news media companies and create a road map toward the next generation of consumer monetisation through 2020

Readers First Deliverables


500+ subscribers to newsletter on the latest in media subscriptions

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Slack Channel

200+ members sharing experiences publicly and privately

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Video Meet-Ups

Monthly members-only meetings with guests and discussion

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Deep dives into the four Readers First pillars (see below)

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Strategic Reports

Illustrated overviews of the four Readers First pillars (see below)

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Hands-on discussions at INMA events in Miami, New Delhi, Stockholm, New York, Hamburg


Heading the Readers First Initiative for INMA is Grzegorz (Greg) Piechota, a senior researcher at Oxford and Harvard universities, a senior advisor to Polish media leader Agora, and a member of the INMA Board of Directors. During his time at Oxford and Harvard, he has studied subscriptions at media and non-media companies worldwide and is considered one of the world’s foremost experts on the subject.

Readers First Pillars

Customer Value Nurturing

INMA believes this is consumer engagement 2.0: creating and managing value from a market perspective — not a newsroom perspective. How can we take a strategic approach to demonstrating value people get when they pay? How can we create value beyond content? How can we help our customers find success?

Consumer Business Innovation

News media companies shift from managing profitable products to managing profitable customers. In the past marketers asked: How many customers can we sell our products to? Today we ask: How many products can we sell to this customer? We will study, benchmark, and showcase how to grow consumer business beyond media subscriptions.

Newsroom Transformation 2.0

The digitisation of news products is done. Now, the real transformation begins, as the newsroom holds the keys to content economics. How do we make the strategic shift from a “news product for everybody” to a “new product aimed at a set of customers”? How to steer away our news teams from chasing viral hits to embrace loyalty-building beats?

Local Media and Subscriptions

We know that the experiences of global and national players in media subscriptions are different than local media. Some believe the product is the culprit. It is not local enough, not exclusive enough, nor quality enough. Some others ask whether the business can be sustainable on subscriptions at all as the addressable markets are so small. We aspire to dive deeply and shine light on the opportunities for local players.

Our Resources

A Readers First Community

One of the unintended consequences of the INMA Readers First Initiative has been the emergence of a media subscriptions community of INMA members passionate about the art and science behind the subject. These are people charged with acquiring, retaining, and engaging digital subscribers in departments ranging from editorial to audience to data to marketing and more.


The INMA Readers First Initiative was approved by the association’s Board of Directors and implemented September 1, 2018. The Board believes digital subscriptions represent a turning point in business model innovation and requires accelerated learnings.