8 key takeaways from INMA’s Media Subscriptions Summit 4.0

By Brie Logsdon

INMA

Nashville, Tennessee, United States

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As people turned to trusted sources of news during the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, publishers got more confident about their paywalls, Greg Piechota, INMA Readers First Initiative lead and researcher-in-residence, said during the final day of INMA’s Media Subscriptions Summit, the fourth such Summit in as many years, drawing 401 attendees from 46 countries and featuring 15+ hours of virtual programming. 

Publishers quadrupled the exposure rate for subscription offers during the past year, Piechota said, pointing to Piano data that showed an exposure rate growing from 5% to 19% year-on-year. 

Growth trajectory data reveals a “hockey stick” pattern for companies of all sizes across the world. During an earlier session of the Summit, Piano shared that media companies globally saw a median change in their subscriber bases of 58%. All of these trends, spanning company size and location, are proof of one thing, Piechota said — hard work.

INMA Researcher-in-Residence Greg Piechota showed the growth of media companies in the past pandemic year.
INMA Researcher-in-Residence Greg Piechota showed the growth of media companies in the past pandemic year.

“The growth in 2020 was not an accident,” he said. “It was a dividend of years of focus, investment, and learning. These publishers basically worked on being ready to work with the spike in demand for news and subscriptions.”

Piechota shared research debunking the myth that light readers do not pay for subscriptions, providing seven tips to help news media companies embrace these readers. He also offered a toolbox for news subscription growth for 2021 based on some of the key takeaways from the Media Subscriptions Summit:

  • Customer obsession is a mindset.

  • Segment users to tailor content, product, marketing.

  • Break silos, form cross-functional teams, and experiment relentlessly.

  • Automate repetitive tasks to free time, energy.

  • Build extraordinary experiences that differentiate.

  • Democratise data and build a data-positive culture.

  • Don’t under-price your product but “productise” the premium price.

  • Scale with B2B subscriptions.

Words for the entire industry to embrace, Summit organiser Greg Piechota said.
Words for the entire industry to embrace, Summit organiser Greg Piechota said.

For more from the summit, read coverage of its 15 hours of programming here or take part in the full summit at your leisure here

About Brie Logsdon

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