What is a reverse subscription model? Cedric Motte looks at what happens when you see digital as the heart of your distribution marketing and the paper as a commodity. This post was originally published in French on NewsResources.
Digital as the heart of the subscription marketing plan ?
“Reverse publishing” first hit newsroom organisations some years ago (although many medias didn’t switch and instead “just” added another digital newsroom downstairs).
The idea is simple: because of mobile penetration and generous data plans, readers use their mobile (and tablet at home) to access news along the day. So a newsroom has to think about releasing news in a digital way to keep up with the tempo of news. The paper comes later.
But why should the mantra “digital first” affect only the newsroom?
What does web first mean for subscriptions?
If digital is the first place for news, it has to be the first place for subscription marketing.
Today, subscriptions are typically pitched as: “Subscribe to the newspaper and access all our content online.”
And digital-only subscription messages tend to take the line: “For a cheaper monthly rate than paper, you can access all our stuff everywhere on screens.”
But with a ‘reverse subscription’ model, what could be the pitch?
“By subscribing to [name of the media] for 10 dollars/euros/other per month, you will get access to all our production and services online (computer, mobile, tablet, glasses, etc) and you can also pick up N paper editions during the month.”
For higher tiers of monthly charges, the subscriber could get N + x paper editions.
By doing this, the media group recognises the reality of modern news consumption: paper is a commodity.
Paper might be more convenient in transportation, on the beach, near a swimming-pool. And it’s a different read too, more “peaceful” than on screens.
But it’s a commodity, nothing more.
Original post in french : “Après le reverse publishing, il serait temps de passer au reverse subscription model”