The Washington Post has just under three million digital-only subscribers, representing just under 50% growth YoY.
The Wall Street Journal has 3.2 million subscribers, with just over 2.5 million of those digital. Dow Jones as a whole has more than 4 million subscribers.
Bloomberg Media digital is closing in on 100 million monthly unique viewers.
Executives from all three shared their growth strategies with INMA members on Thursday, the first day of the Media Subscriptions Summit 4.0.
“Take risks. Break some eggs. Get in trouble,” said M. Scott Havens, chief growth officer and global head of strategic partnerships at Bloomberg Media. “If you don’t, your company won’t advance.”
Havens shared a long list of strategies Bloomberg Media has prioritised, including:
Focusing on great talent and developing a great culture.
Executing well. Bloomberg Media uses a pod structure with the agile method, cross-functional collaboration, and quarterly brainstorming.
Leaning into consumer subscriptions. This entails finding the right type of people, investing in customer service, partnering with industry-leading tech, and getting really good at marketing.
Testing relentlessly — always trying new things and iterating.
Investing in first-party data and business intelligence.
While The Washington Post has pivoted strongly towards digital subscriptions as a revenue model, it hasn’t leaned into subscriptions instead of an advertising model, Miki King, chief marketing officer, said.
“We work with the two hand in hand,” she said, adding the team does see the growth possibilities of subscriptions. Growing subscriptions is also how the company can best serve its advertising partners.
Testing is key to everything her team does, King said: “If there’s one thing we are hyper-committed to is this idea that if we have a question, hypothesis, or something we think we might work, we get it in and test it quickly.”
Usually the company does this within a week. This means they are quickly able to act on any trends they see and that might pay dividends.
Suzi Watford, executive vice-president/chief marketing and membership officer at The Wall Street Journal, said the company has seen huge growth in the last year, in both digital subscriptions and digital advertising. “What we’ve learned [during the pandemic] is that we must lean into our mission. What are we really going to focus on?”
The testing culture at WSJ is similar to The Washington Post, Watford said.
“When you see this much interest and this much traffic being generated, how do you really lean into that moment and take hold of it?” she said about the company’s culture of testing. “We’ve also done quite a lot of product work and built a lot of community tools.”
The Summit continues next week on Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout February, offering 13 hours of programming. You can register here to watch live or at your leisure.