INMA releases Media Subscriptions Blueprint

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INMA releases Media Subscriptions Blueprint

A reader-focused business model with digital subscriptions at the core represents the news industry’s best hope to replace a declining print business model and maintain scalable journalism, according to a new report released by the International News Media Association (INMA).

This was the key conclusion from ‘The Media Subscriptions Blueprint,’ a report based on presentations and feedback from the INMA Media Subscriptions Week from 16-19 April 2018, in London.

Across 25 case studies, seven keynote presentations, a 40-question benchmark survey, a town hall, and hundreds of questions and comments from the 230 participants from 33 countries, the INMA summit found the cutting edge on seven broad themes:
Value proposition:  While content is often the trigger for a subscriber relationship, publishers must realise that community, cause, and convenience are arguably equally important in the emerging subscription game.
Freemium:  The rise of data in media companies provides publishers more options on when and how to lock content. The freemium model is displacing the metered model, which is best for high quality and high quantity content ecosystems.
Moving to dynamic:  A personalised dynamic model and hybrid freemium/meter models will soon displace simpler models.
Cultural galvaniser:  Digital subscriptions are not a task for a department. They work best when there is a clear growth mission and a total-company approach.
Where newsrooms fit:  Newsroom participation amid the art and science of content economics helps maximise digital subscription success.
Improving retention through engagement:  Companies far down the road of digital subscriptions are finding that while there is upside in sales efforts, the next growth wave will be retaining subscribers at a higher rate through tactics that are just now emerging.
Authentic voice content:  While surveys and best practices point to varying genres that trigger subscriptions, the one commonality no matter a global brand or a community brand is content with an authentic voice.

Beyond a distillation of global best practices, ‘The Media Subscriptions Blueprint’ includes looks at what media companies are doing best in the digital subscription space: The New York Times, Times of London, The Economist, Wall Street Journal, Schibsted, NZZ, Fairfax Media, Politiken, BILDPlus, Dennik N, Dagens Nyheter, Helsingin Sanomat, Boston Globe, Amedia, Telegraph Media Group, Immediate Media, Sky Media, The Guardian, and the Financial Times. Presentations by Facebook, Google, Membership Economy author Robbie Kellman Baxter, University of Oxford senior research fellow Grzegorz Piechota, Piano CEO Trevor Kaufmann, and others also are included.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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