Pay Walls Working; Digital Subscriptions Driving Publisher Growth

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The free content model may be coming to an end.

Publishers are using data acquired from digital subscriptions to drive engagement, reduce churn and enhance ad sales according to a new report from the Online Publishers Association (OPA).

The OPA reported that 95 percent of digital content publishers have a paid subscription strategy, and are leveraging these paid models as part of their overall growth strategies.

The OPA's research is based on interviews with senior executives from such publishers as Condé Nast, Consumer Reports, The Financial Times, and Gannett Community Newspapers, to name but a few. “Paid models are proving to drive important business growth for these OPA members,” said OPA President Pam Horan. “The success they have seen illustrates the deep engagement consumers have with the content they love and, ultimately, their willingness to pay for it.”

While throwing up a pay wall isn't going to put most publishers on the fast track to profits, doing so is certainly (and quickly) becoming a consideration for those that are simply no longer willing to give their content away for free any longer.

“We have grown advertising business every single year since we’ve introduced subscription. Because of the deep relationship we have with the audience and the data we have on our subscribers we can guarantee that advertisers reach very specific scarce audiences. We consistently achieve a premium above market CPM.” - Rob Grimshaw, Managing Director, FT.com.

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