Readers First agenda includes keeping subscription momentum in 2021

By Greg Piechota


Oxford, United Kingdom


Benchmarking the state of online reader revenue after the COVID Year, ways to retain the gained subscribers, and finding new avenues for growth will be the key research areas for the INMA Readers First Initiative this year. 

Amid the global pandemic, demand for news soared last year. Audiences turned to trusted brands, and many more chose to pay for online media. In a few months, publishers made a few years-worth of progress in their reader revenue business.

I followed these developments, benchmarked the gains, and shared best practices with you in 49 blog posts at, 12 meet-ups, nine newsletters, four master classes, and a report on the COVID bump.

This year’s focus: News executives consider subscription the most important revenue stream in 2021, ahead of ads for the first time, found Reuters Institute in its annual survey.

I am planning to help you benchmark the gains of the COVID Year, aggregate the lessons learnt in acquisition, retention, and subscriber experience, and build a toolkit for the key issues on hand:

  • How to keep the new subscribers engaged while the lockdowns wear out us and them.
  • Where to find new sources of growth to keep the momentum in 2021.
  • And how to boost our reader revenues to fill the gaps from demolished business lines, such as print advertising or live events.

Based on your feedback and requests to INMA, I am going to explore why subscription leaders are moving their focus away from heavy-reading subscribers to the light-reading. How do we reinvent news experiences to make time with news well spent? How do we get smarter in pricing and boost revenue? How do we scale with group subscriptions and partnerships? 

Deliverables: In 2021, I will curate the Media Subscriptions Summit in February, the Reader Engagement Master Class in April, the Subscriber Retention Accelerator in September, and the Acquisition Accelerator in November (for a full INMA calendar of events, check the site.)

Expect at least one written report in the first quarter, bi-monthly meet-ups starting in January, bi-weekly newsletters, and daily Slack updates.

INMA corporate members can also schedule a free private consultation with me. 

Is this the right agenda for 2021? What would you add or cancel? I appreciate your feedback. E-mail me at or Slack me

About Greg Piechota

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