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.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital 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.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

It is the right time to support our high-impact reporting and authoritative and technical information with some of the best correspondents in the industry. Readers can power Indian Printer and Publisher’s balanced industry journalism and help sustain us by subscribing.

– Naresh Khanna

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