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Media business models for post-covid

“Pricing is the fastest and most effective way for media businesses to increase profits,” said INMA Researcher Greg Piechota when International News Media Association published its report “Subscription Pricing. From COVID bump to Sustainable Revenue”.

INMA notes that the pandemic-driven subscription surge and the rise of segmented approaches to audience management are driving new urgency for sharper pricing strategies by media companies as markets now slowly hopefully emerge from the worst of the pandemic.

Key takeaways from the report:

  • Charging your more engaged customers more over time, the “revenue maximising journey,” is generally accepted as a best practice.
  • A digital subscriptions strategy means volume first (which COVID gifted the news industry), pricing second. Yet smart pricing is key to both acquisition and retention.
  • Data, not gut feelings, must guide pricing strategy.
  • Most media companies are not competing with The New York Times or Netflix, so prices shouldn’t be based on those subscription models.
  • Media companies can’t switch print readers who were paying USD 40+ per month to digital readers paying USD 10 per month. Those prices need to get closer.
  • Research shows what price change individual customers will tolerate.
  • Customer lifetime value (CLTV) is a key factor when determining pricing strategies.

The report includes case studies from Dennik K in Slovakia, The Boston Globe in the United States, Politiken in Denmark, Amedia in Finland, and Malaysiakini in Malaysia.

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