Does Subscription Model Work for Publishers?

Can publishers still survive without a subscription model?

Thanks to The Drum’s Shawn Lim for the interview so I have a chance to share my take on this:

1. Publishers will often switch strategies, meaning the reinstatement of the paywall doesn’t necessarily mean failure. The SCMP’s return to behind a paywall will definitely send publishers a signal that implementing a paywall seems like a logical next step for them to follow, while they are facing the decline of the traditional ad revenue and the digital ad revenue is not sufficient to recover the decline.

2. The success of NYT’s subscription business has given many publishers hope in moving to the subscription model. However, publishers should also be aware that NYT is a global brand that can grow its subscription business on a larger scale. Thus, publishers should really be able to produce relevant and exclusive content for their readers, or else, a subscription model may not be the best move.

3. Subscription won’t be the only model for publishers, advertising is still playing a significant role. Meanwhile, publishers are also experimenting with various new business ideas moving forward, such as membership, events, or even online training.

The full interview: Can publishers still survive without a subscription model?

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