2018 Finalist

Using analytics to drive continuous growth in digital subscriptions

Dagens Nyheter

Stockholm, Sweden

Category Best New Paid Content Or Subscription Initiative

Media associated with this campaign

Overview of this campaign

Dagens Nyheter had an early growth in digital subscriptions, starting in the beginning of 2015 by launching a paywall with a one-click friction-free payment solution from Klarna. While some said that no one would pay for content online, our conviction was clear; that digital subscriptions would be the way forward for quality journalism in the digital age.

The following years we had a continuous growth by 10-12% per month, all the way up until March 2017. Our growth stagnated because of high levels of churn (over 14%), and therefore our subscription base was levelling out at about 90-100k subscriptions, as our churn was in the same level as our new sales.

Together with research firm SparkBeyond, that had developed a powerful automatic research engine, we set out to combat this churn and revive our growth. Our objective was to reduce the churn, as well as transforming our sales channel into more digital and sustainable sources for new subscriptions.

Results for this campaign

We put together truly cross-functional teams from editorial, analytics, product development and sales, and held hackatons together with the research engine from SparkBeyond. Using AI and machine learning we identified hundreds of factors to explain our churn. For example, sales by telemarketing and having a monthly invoice, was devastating factors for the loyalty of our customers

By using an iterative approach, we identified the most important initiatives to combat our churn and revive our growth. The teams focused on areas such as: creating new growth in our own digital channels, converting from invoice to reoccurring direct debit, optimizing telemarketing, etc.

The results were clear. Our churn rate was down by 25%, from over 14% to 10% per month. While reducing the churn we had kept our monthly sales up, but significantly changed our mix in sales channels for the better. For example, in the beginning of the year telemarketing accounted for 40% of sales, some months later only 5%.

Dagens Nyheter is now the leader in digital subscriptions for quality journalism in Northern Europe. Our organization is also transformed for the better, now editorial, development, analytics, and sales work closely together, to build true value for our subscribers.


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