What’s Old Is New – The Paid Subscription Model

    Last updated: February 24, 2023

    An article published by the Wall Street Journal detailed Condé Nast’s decision to put all of its publications behind paywalls by the end of the year.

    As print publishers began creating an online presence for themselves, they turned to the revenue generator that other websites were using – digital advertisements. While digital advertising is still effective, it isn’t the revolutionary form of marketing that it once was (or arguably ever was). Last year, Condé Nast earned 70 percent of its revenue through digital ads and was still losing millions of dollars. In order to return to profitability, they are setting up metered paywalls for all of their publications. Condé Nast has realized that digital advertising alone will not keep the lights on.

    Yes, you read that correctly. Condé Nast will be implementing a subscription model for all of their digital brands. But, wait? Weren’t we all supposed to be millionaires from digital ads? Is a subscription model even possible or, better yet, profitable?

    Master subscription models: 9 Proven tactics to skyrocket retention & revenue:

    Well, what is old is new again.  For decades, publishers have been selling subscriptions AND selling ads in those subscriptions. Why should the digital age be any different? If you have valuable, unique content, shouldn’t someone pay for it?

    This is not a new model. While magazine subscriptions may not be the growth driver they once were, the idea of “paying for a content subscription” – or a subscription to something – has been around for decades.

    Finding the sweet spot in developing a mix of revenue lines that include subscription revenue, ad sales and other products will be how publishers are able to profitably engage with their readers and continue to create compelling content.

    You may be wondering, can a technology provider help publishers successfully use and execute a variety of revenue-generating offerings all in one place?  Being from two different eras, paid subscription fulfillment companies and data platforms don’t seem to go together, right? Wrong. Media publishers don’t have to worry about integrating their subscription management provider with their CDP provider, or their email provider, or their custom service team, or marketing automation tools, or even their social and ad targeting providers.

    Omeda has all those tools and more, all under one platform.

    Successful ways for generating revenue in the publishing industry will look a bit different for every company. Some rely heavily on email promotion, others are trying to capitalize on their data, and there are those that are still using print advertisements to bring home the bacon. While there is no perfect approach for any company to successfully earn money, there are tools beyond digital advertising that can be extremely beneficial – especially when used simultaneously. Use cases such as:

    • Targeting your audience with personalized messaging on your website
    • Creating email campaigns based off consumers’ email engagement behavior
    • Understanding your audiences’ interests to better serve them content they want
    • Continuous customer service
    • The ability to reach out to specific customer lists on social media

    And the list goes on. For 37 years, Omeda has been managing a variety of subscriptions on behalf of media companies. The Omeda platform is already designed to cohesively house all of the tools and services that publishing companies need in today’s multi-channel world. Paid subscriptions and paywalls are an easy addition to the rest of the digital offerings – from the databank to email marketing services to marketing automation etc. Paid subscriptions are back, and Omeda is here to help you successfully implement them into your business strategy.

    Photo by Jonathan Simcoe on Unsplash

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