Nine adds Good Food, Traveller to subscription bundle to drive growth

By Mex Cooper

The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, Brisbane Times, and WAToday

Melbourne, Australia


Readers looking for a break from hard news and more value for their subscription dollar have been well served by the reintegration of the Good Food and Traveller brands to Nine’s metropolitan mastheads The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Brisbane Times, and WAtoday.

Back in the days when reach was king and advertising trumped subscriptions, Good Food and Traveller existed as standalone brands with their own Web sites that attracted tens of thousands of daily clicks. The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age promoted the brands’ content but redirected readers off-site to consume it. They were known as the “step-outs.”

The Good Food content includes insight from culinary experts including a popular food blogger and renowned chef.
The Good Food content includes insight from culinary experts including a popular food blogger and renowned chef.

At a time when subscription growth and retention are the main game, news fatigue is running high, and publishers are looking at how to bundle products to offer value, integrating our popular food and travel content into the main mastheads became a strategic priority.

We could no longer waste the opportunity to have our distinctive food and travel journalism entice readers down the subscription funnel. Our data shows that subscribers who consume a breadth of content are more likely to stay subscribed; Good Food and Traveller provide a stream of quality content that can enhance enjoyment of our sites and increase engagement. TikTok and Instagram have shown food and travel content appeals to all ages and can be used to expose our brands to younger readers.

The “step-in” projects required extensive product work, including building new article formats to allow for recipes, reviews, and travel guides into our INK CMS. Newsletters and tens of thousands of archived pieces of content were migrated, and articles were placed behind our metered paywalls. Readers received the ability to save recipes for later, craft recipe notes, exchange tips with other food lovers, and use improved navigation and search.

A new daily subscriber-only “What’s for dinner” newsletter was launched. Additionally, 10 new regular columnists joined Good Food, including the incredibly popular food blogger and cook Nagi Maehashi from RecipeTin Eats and renowned chef Curtis Stone.

The Traveller content includes must-do highlights and advice on trip planning.
The Traveller content includes must-do highlights and advice on trip planning.

Traveller offered new destination and holiday guides full of must-do highlights and advice on where to stay and eat when planning a trip domestically or overseas. Both brands launched with an editorial series that focused on budget-friendly cooking and traveling as cost-of-living pressures continued to concern consumers.

Our subscriber and marketing team sent special launch e-mails and used targeted on-site paywall messaging and offers to educate existing Good Food and Traveller readers about the integration. This also demonstrated the value of an “all-access” bundled subscription.

The new Good Food launched as part of The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age in March, and Traveller followed in April.

We are already seeing strong results with:

  • Good Food sessions up more than 20% compared to pre-integration. Traveller is up more than 26%.
  • Good Food ranking as the third most-read topic by readers before they subscribed in May. Traveller was eighth out of 45 topics.

Bundling Good Food and Traveller has boosted the value of a subscription for our existing paying audiences and potential new ones. An abundance of quality food and travel journalism encourages our audience to stay on our sites and circulate through our content.

There are already plans underway for the next steps for Good Food and Traveller. In particular, we’re discussing how to enhance the digital experience of the Good Food Guide that is the source of Australia’s definitive restaurant rankings.

Good Food and Traveller have always been an important part of our newsrooms and our products but are now a critical part of our strengthened and seamless subscription package.

About Mex Cooper

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