INMA announces launch of ‘Subscription Benchmarking Service’

New digital subscription performance benchmarking service for news media companies

INMA announces launch of Subscription Benchmarking Service for news media companies. Photo INMA

The International News Media Association (INMA) on 17 March 2022 announced the launch of a new digital subscription performance benchmarking service for news media companies following a successful six-month pilot.

INMA’s Subscription Benchmarking Service is designed as an international peer-to-peer exchange, promising an active benchmarking community and featuring data-rich dashboards with actionable insights and personalized subscription best practices.

The paid-for service is available to INMA’s corporate members who publish at least one online news service. Publishers are not locked into any hardware, software, or consulting agreements, and may submit several brands at no additional charge.

The pilot was conducted with 102 national and regional news brands from 30 companies in 19 countries. The Subscription Benchmarking Service is part of INMA’s readers first initiative and led by Greg Piechota, the association’s researcher-in-residence.

As part of the service every quarter, INMA confidentially collects 20 points of data on performance, calculates 34 KPIs, and then slices them by cohorts, including geography, maturity, target market, type of paywall, and more.

The data is aggregated, anonymised, and shared with participants in an online dashboard featuring more than 150 charts and tables across 10 interactive tabs.

Each brand has personalised scorecards on digital reader engagement, registration, and subscriptions, allowing comparisons to cohorts of similar brands and the top performers in each KPI.

During exclusive webinars led by Piechota, INMA presents in-depth analyses of trends, striking differences between cohorts, and inspiring correlations. The best performers are also invited to share best practices with the larger benchmarking community.

The service also connects publishers for one-to-one meetings to exchange ideas and experiences. During individual briefings and ask-me-anything sessions, INMA analysts demonstrate how to use the benchmarks for gap and opportunity analyses, strategy and budget, and for planning new initiatives.

“We kept hearing from our members that running a business without benchmarking was like driving with your eyes closed,” said Piechota, who leads INMA’s readers first initiative. “So, we created the Subscription Benchmarking Service to provide our members access to reliable and trusted information about how their performance compares to their peers, and to assist them in improving that performance with evidence-based insights and best practices.”

INMA partnered with Laboratorium EE, a Polish-Lithuanian research and software development company, to build the online report and assist in data collection, verification, and analysis.

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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