Subscription Billing Blog

What does the future hold for paid-for digital content?

Publishers looking to the future need to make channel revenue predictions. Print endures in the face of a considerable challenges from free online content and publishers remain committed to growing digital advertising revenues. In the mix sits paid-for digital content, but how significant a role does it occupy today and how much is it likely to in the future?

A new research report from Vindicia, together with consultancy MTM, provides a fascinating insight: Digital Payments and Diversification: Where Next for European Publishers? The research was conducted across four markets: the UK, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden. It’s comprised of a review of industry data plus a series of in-depth interviews with senior publishing industry executives and seminars in London, Amsterdam, and Stockholm. The research set out to discover:

  • What the industry has learned from previous experiments and investments in digital editions, paywalls and subscription models
  • What the most attractive digital diversification opportunities are for European newspapers and magazine publishers
  • What it takes to succeed with paid-for digital services

It may feel like paid-for content is still in its infancy, but in reality there’s over 20 years of experience to draw on. Paywalls and subscription content date back to the 1990s. In the time since, publishers have explored options around subscription-based models, e-commerce and paid-for information services.

While there has been substantial progress in this area of late—a range of newspaper titles have successful digital subscription models and magazines are exploring a variety of paid-for opportunities—many publishers are still experimenting to find out what does and doesn’t work in their markets.

With the industry at something of a turning point, this research study is ideally timed to explore:

  1. The current state of the newspaper and magazine publishing industry in Europe
  2. Publisher experiences to date: what they have learned so far about demand for paid-for digital offerings
  3. The challenges of developing these offerings and barriers to doing so
  4. Which paid-for content models and news products and services will drive the most growth in the future
  5. What publishers should do to succeed in digital content, products and services.

Drawing on the considerable experience of participants from a range of well-known titles including the Financial Times, The Economist and Bild, the study asks questions of the role and significance of brands, high-quality content, technology platforms and data and analytics.

Read the research report Digital Payments and Diversification: Where Next for European Publishers?

About Author

Kevin Cancilla

Kevin Cancilla

Kevin is an industry veteran with extensive experience in strategic marketing for enterprise software companies and SaaS-based businesses. His 15-plus-year track record includes developing integrated multi-channel marketing programs and partnerships that yield financial results, expand the customer base, increase market share, and build brand affinity. Prior to joining Vindicia, Kevin held senior marketing positions at STEALTHbits Technologies, Tripwire, Epicor, Baan, and Adobe Systems. He holds a BSBM degree in marketing and business management from the University of Phoenix.

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