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Which (Introductory) Price is Right?
2024 Finalist

Which (Introductory) Price is Right?

Sydney Morning Herald & The Age


Category Digital Subscriptions

Media associated with this campaign

Overview of this campaign

In early 2023, The Sydney Morning Herald & The Age began locking selected articles behind a ‘subscriber-only paywall’, allowing only subscribers access to particular content. Prior to this change, we only used a metered paywall, which stopped readers after they had exhausted their monthly free article limit.

Since launch, the subscriber-only paywall has driven exponential growth to our subscriber base, now accounting for 39% of total acquisition and is our strongest acquisition driver.

With such significant acquisition coming from this channel, we needed to better understand audience behaviour and which variables had the greatest impact on subscription to:

  1. Ensure that our current introductory offer is the right price point for continued volume and customer lifetime value 
  2. Determine the price sensitivity of our audience.





Results for this campaign

The 'Which (introductory) Price is Right?' initiative determined that the current weekly introductory offer is the right price point for the subscriber-only paywall, delivering a +37% higher conversion rate when compared to the upfront offer and a +72% uplift when compared with full price.

Further learnings include;

  1. Introductory offers are crucial for subscription growth. When our readers were presented with full price on the subscriber-only paywall, it produced a -72% decrease in conversion when compared to our current offer. Content alone is clearly not enough to drive conversion

  1. Upfront and wordy offer articulations don’t work. Despite 3 months for the price of one offering a stronger discount than the weekly offer on the paywall, consumers were -37% less likely to take up the offer compared to our current weekly offer

  1. Our current introductory offer will produce the highest revenue. When forecasting annualised revenue, the $2/week for 3 months offer was the most successful due to volume acquired, delivering +60% more revenue than full price despite full price producing the strongest retention rate



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