GNI Europe Subscriptions Lab findings to be unveiled

Livestream session to stream presentations and lab report

FT Strategies and INMA, in partnership with the Google News Initiative, established the GNI Subscriptions Lab in Europe

Key findings from the Google News Initiative’s (GNI) Europe Subscriptions Lab will be unveiled in a virtual town hall hosted by the International News Media Association (INMA) on Thursday, November 5. The town hall is free and open to the public with registration.

In addition to the livestream session from 14:00 to 16:30 GMT (15:00 to 17:30 CET) November 5, town hall registrants will receive access to the session recording, all presentations, and a new report based on Lab learnings titled “Towards Your North Star: A Report On the Outcomes of the European GNI Subscriptions Lab 2020.” To register for the virtual town hall for free, click here

FT Strategies and INMA, in partnership with the Google News Initiative, established the GNI Subscriptions Lab in Europe to engage publishers in a journey designed to help them define an ambitious vision for their digital subscription business and build the engine that will take them to their goal.

Since March, the Google News Initiative, FT Strategies, and INMA have worked extensively with eight European news publishers in the early stages of their subscription journey to strengthen digital capabilities and grow reader revenue. Key areas of focus include creating loyal paying relationships with readers, optimising the engagement and subscription funnel and embracing a reader-first strategy and culture.

The European Subscriptions Lab participants include Bonnier News Local, Sweden; La Croix, France; Dennik N, Slovakia; Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland; The Independent, United Kingdom; Kurier, Austria; El Mundo, Spain; and RP Online, Germany.

The “Towards Your North Star” report will highlight challenges and blockers to subscription success at the eight European publishers that participated in the Subscriptions Lab. The report also will look at how to commit your company to create value for readers, build a fast-learning and driven organisation, and how best to empower your company with data.

The Town Hall aims to cut across hundreds of hours of training, discussions, and group exercises to cover how the publishers overcame the inevitable “blockers” to subscription growth, the details of “North Star” metrics, aligning business objectives and cultures around their North Stars, creating a suitable transformation process, comparison of European experiences with the Google News Initiative’s similar labs in North America and Latin America.

The November town hall will feature representatives of Lab publishers talking about strategic alignment, customer knowledge, and experimentation. INMA CEO Earl Wilkinson will moderate the town hall, with Google News Initiative’s Bénédicte Autret, FT Strategies’ Lou Gautier, and INMA’s Greg Piechota presenting results and findings.

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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