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Research / Insights on current and emerging industry topics

How newspapers can capitalize on consumers’ content demand(s)

March 8, 2016 | By Research Team—DCN

According to the cliché: Content is king. Yet while an ever-expanding cadre of “content companies” such as Netflix, Spotify, and Apple are profiting mightily, newspapers continue to struggle. MECLABS Institute surveyed 900 people who earn at least $40,000 and spend at least three hours a week consuming print or digital news to explore what newspaper publishers can do to transform their customer experience in order to profit from consumers’ growing hunger for digital content experiences. Using the results of this survey as well as expert interviews, the report provides insights in how to increase the probability of converting the many readers who are open, but have not yet committed, to digital subscription news products.

The report, Newspaper Paywalls and Digital Subscriptions, is part of of the MECLABS Institute Executive Series.  The Newspaper Paywalls and Digital Subscriptions report offers four key insights, which are explored in depth:

Key insight #1: Because digital subscriptions lack a perceived product-level value proposition, consumers have commoditized digital news content

The reason most readers do not purchase a digital news subscription is not because they do not understand the value of your content, but rather, they do not yet understand the value of a digital subscription.

Key insight #2: News consumers have been conditioned to expect a seamless digital experience

Poor user interface design and user experience may be negatively impacting the perception of your digital subscription.

Key insight #3: Exclusive content is the primary motivation for subscribers

Subscribers are motivated most by exclusive content—like arts/culture and local news—rather than other kinds of news topics.

Key insight #4: Customers are waiting for you to ask them to engage

Customers are more willing to engage with newspapers than you might think

Consumers’ frustration with paywall usability and advertising
Consumers’ frustration with paywall usability and advertising
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