NZME brings the newsroom on the subscription journey

By Amalie Nash


Denver, Colorado, United States


New Zealand Media and Entertainment is fairly new to digital subscriptions, growing from fewer than 50K in Q2 2019 to 179K by Q3 2023.

And although it may seem obvious that all functions of the business need to be aligned when making such a strategy change, it doesn’t always happen.

Carolyn Adams, general manager of subscriber revenue, told attendees during the recent INMA Media Subscriptions Summmit that NZME focused heavily on bringing newsrooms on the journey as the business changed.

“The newsroom was all about clicks and did not understand why we were doing digital subscriptions,” she said. “For a couple years, there was a real disconnect between the newsroom and everyone else.”

By creating cross-functional squads, NZME was able to achieve better alignment — and better results. Adams said the past six months have been particularly transformative, due in part to access to and focus on data.

NZME has a freemium paywall and now locks about 30% of its content overall. It uses data to guide those decisions. For instance, the majority of business content is locked, but the majority of sports is not.

“Journalism is the key — it needs to resonate with readers,” Adams told summit attendees. “We need to have expert journalism that engages and converts.”

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About Amalie Nash

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