World Association of News Publishers


Consumer Revenue

Consumer Revenue

As income from advertising dwindles, more publishers are increasing their efforts to boost revenues from readers. Strategies and business models vary, but lessons learned are coming in almost daily. Here is our resource centre to discover best-practice, challenges and opportunities through our various activities.

In the Blogs

UK-based journalism outlet Tortoise is placing its members at the centre of its editorial strategy, regularly inviting them into the newsroom to share their diverse experience and expertise.

A strong focus on a “reader-first” circulation model has helped The Economist grow its reader revenues by 50 percent while doubling its gross margin in the past five years.

A South African spends more money, in a lifetime, on communication than on health or education. The country has a high penetration rate of smart phones, which unfortunately does not translate to cheap data rates.

“If you are too protective of your print, your digital will never grow,” said Geoff Tan, Managing Director, market development, SPH Magazines.

“The print media industry in India needs to reinvent the way we approach and onboard new readers,” said Pawan Agarwal, Deputy MD & CEO, DB Corp, India.

As publishers turn to subscription revenue to shore up their revenue strategies – from the largest international audiences down to the local publishers – they are each grappling with the constantly changing issues of tech and data.

“We don't do anything without an audience opportunity and a revenue opportunity,” Robertson Barrett, President of Digital Media at Hearst Newspapers, told participants at WAN-IFRA's recent ...

While the number of news consumers paying for online content has seen only small increases, François Nel, the director of the Journalism Leaders Programme, says there is still cause for optimism about the future of news publishing.

The past 10 to 12 years have been tough for many local news publishers: print revenues have fallen; consumers are...

A new report from WAN-IFRA examines how news media companies in Kenya, South Africa, Uganda, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Egypt, Jordan, Palestine, Colombia, Ecuador and Mexico are experimenting with their revenues and adapting business models to safeguard press freedom.

As The Atlantic ramps up its plans to launch a subscription model, the venerable American magazine has been restructuring its staffing units in order to better align its business model with readers' needs.

The marketplaces of East Africa are changing, but there is an opportunity for media organisations and digital publishers to get ahead of the curve and tap into new revenue streams, says Leonie Elverfeldt, Managing Director of Ringier Africa Digital Publishing in East...

With more than 100 daily newspapers and related web sites spread across the United States, Gannett has the enviable luxury to test and tweak its evolving digital subscription strategy across its group.

Digital advertising alone will not provide a sustainable future for digital news in Africa. According to Nic Newmansenior research fellow at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at Oxford University, news publishers will need a...

Wendy Metcalfe is not your average editor-in-chief. For starters, not only does she oversee editorial operations, she’s also in charge of marketing and customer service – "essentially anything that touches the subscriber," she says.

[VIDEO INSIDE] In a standing-room only session at the World News Media Congress in Glasgow, Mark Thompson, president and CEO of The New York Times company, sat down with Tina...

Why launch a micropayment solution when all that publishers seem to want is to have readers committing to a subscription? For Dominic Young, founder of start-up Agate, it's necessary to offer the audience a more flexible relationship.

Famed journalist Hu Shuli told attendees at WAN-IFRA's recent Publish Asia 2019 conference in Singapore they should always preserve and protect their core function of high-quality and hard-hitting journalism, no matter what business challenges they face.

Many publishers struggle with deciding on the correct subscription price for their products as they try to determine what goes into product value and what types of price bundles they should use.

As traditional revenue sources continue to decline and a major share of advertising revenue is claimed by tech giants, more publishers in Europe and the United States are turning to the subscription model, according to new research.

Print media continues to witness slow down, but digital sees steady growth

“Exclusivity is the single largest driver of subscriptions. If you are offering something that no one else has, it’s easier to convince someone to pay you for it,” says Rohin Dharmakumar, co-founder and CEO of The Ken.

In November, the Canadian government announced plans to help provide support to news publishers in the country through a journalism tax credit, a subsidy as well as a tax deduction for digital subscribers. As we wrote at the time, news...

The membership model has "revolutionary" potential for the future of media, says Sebastian Esser, publisher of Krautreporter and co-founder of a membership platform called Steady. The key is passion – the main reason people pay to join membership-based businesses, he says.

The publisher of some of Finland's most successful magazines started changing its culture and transforming digitally well before circumstances dictated those shifts, as Director of Media Business Elina Schüller describes in this interview.

India's Ananda Vikatan has a long and rich history in print, but the publication has also been very active online, and launched a digital subscription model fairly early on, which quickly proved itself successful. 

In the news media business, digital revenue is a tough nut to crack. A panel at the Digital Media India 2019 conference in Mumbai in February discussed the possibility of changing this...

As income from advertising has dwindled, more publishers are increasing their efforts to boost revenues from readers. The past year saw several high-profile publications putting content behind paywalls: Wired, The New Statesman, Vanity Fair, New York magazine...

While introducing a paywall came with an initial massive traffic loss for Austria’s Kleine Zeitung, it has helped the newspaper power the change towards a more digital mindset, and boost brand awareness among users.

“We plan to land on the moon in 2020, and be profitable solely with digital income,” says Gard Steiro, editor-in-chief and CEO of VG. “The easy way to achieve this is to lay off reporters, but we plan to have a newsroom of the same size in 2020 as we do today.”

“Innovation is not an event. It's not a lab. It's not the perfect day once a year. It's something that's happening 365 throughout your organisation and it's a really hard process,” says Niddal Salah-Eldin, Director of Digital Innovation at WELT.

Wijeya Newspapers (WNL) was established in 1979 and is Sri Lanka’s leading newspaper group. With a vision to be the most independent and socially responsible media group in the country, it has the highest annual turnover.

Most publishers thriving in today’s “Digital Subscription Economy” will tell you: the most expensive enemy in this world is churn. That is from Cecilia Campbell, who researched and wrote WAN-IFRA’s just-published report, “Engaged Readers Don’t Churn: Retention Lessons for Digital Subscriptions...

While newspaper paywalls remain relatively rare in Latin America, two papers there have achieved success with paid-content strategies: O Globo in Brazil and Clarín in Argentina.

"One of the most important pieces of our revenue strategy in respect to readers has been our site," says Miki Toliver King, Vice President of Marketing at The Washington Post. "We spend a lot of time focussed on 'What is it we are doing on our site to...

In 2015, the Guardian had lost around 100 million pounds for the year, and despite having a huge readership, its future was looking bleak. Today, the company is rapidly approaching break-even, has broader reach than ever and has increased its endowment to more than 1 billion...

"This is all about looking at users from a business point of view, and what we want them to be," said Gadi Lahav, Head of Product for the FT. "We know people pay for habits. So we want to focus on habits. Habits are the best way to...

Reader engagement is a key metric in measuring brand loyalty. At the FT, the newsroom and commercial teams are united in their appreciation of the power of metrics and the data behind them.  

Only a very few newspapers that focus purely on quality journalism will be able to survive on advertising alone. And let’s face it, your publication probably isn’t one of them. Publishers must develop a substantial revenue stream directly from their readers in order to have a...

Three trends from the World Editors Forum's recent Study Tour visits to top newsrooms in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and New York City.

“We are obsessed with margins,” Andiara Petterle, SVP of Product Development and Operations for RBS, says of the company's determination to pursue only those revenue streams that bring good profit margins.

Between 2012 and 2017, the Spanish news publisher El País recorded 68 percent growth (EBITDA). Those five years marked a period of sweeping change throughout the organisation, from a new newsroom to expanded global operations as well as a significant increase in video.

“A media company can potentially have up to 12-15 revenue streams without moving away from its core,” says Raju Narisetti, Professor of Professional Practice and director of the Knight-Bagehot Fellowship in Economics and Business Journalism at Columbia University.

“Increasingly, a...

Building an escape room, launching a direct public offering (DPO) for direct reader investment, and renting a room on Airbnb: all ways newspapers are thinking outside the box to diversify their revenue stream. In this guest post, Mary-Katharine Phillips of Twipe says those ideas all provide...

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