Advertising Revenues Increase with Paywall Strategies

Ana Lobb Wednesday, 12 August 2015

 As print revenue continue to decline, publishers take advantage of advertising on their websites creating new revenue streams. While this new digital economy has had a positive impact on the industry, there is the fear that implementing paywalls can cannibalise advertising revenue.

In MPP Global’s experience, it is not the case that an either-or situation exists, when it comes to implementing a paywall or continuing to rely solely on advertising revenues. Publishers across the industry can unify paywall and advertising technologies to provide a better experience for their customers while driving digital revenues.

Advertising to Digital Subscribers

Project Footprint, a recent study conducted for News UK, found that advertising to subscribers who access digital content behind a paywall drives higher levels of online and offline behaviour and action. The study tracked the online and offline activities of 70 multi-platform subscribers to The Times which saw how advertising exposure drives online behaviour such as search or website visits.

The month-long study also found that advertising exposure increased offline conversations and action, including purchases and brand choice e.g.BMW saw an uplift of more than 163%.

You know the subscribers on your site, their viewing habits, their preferred content and genres, therefore you have the opportunity to build up a 360° customer view. By honing in on a digital subscriber’s interests, you can promote the type of advertisements and services they are more likely to consider purchasing by presenting these in a more personalised manner.

When a consumer signs up for a digital subscription on your site, they are confirming they find your digital content worth paying for. Now that they have spent money on the content they are more likely to spend more time consuming this content. With this logic, the consumer’s dwell time is likely to increase which offers more opportunity for them to engage with ads, therefore increasing the effectiveness of online advertising campaigns.

Using Advertising to Your Advantage

In our work with many publishing teams, from local and regional publishers to large media groups, a common need is more comprehensive analytics. Having your paywall strategy working in collaboration with advertising enables you to gather more information about your audience and their interests based on the brands and types of ads your customers engage with.

Not only does advertising bring in revenue for those brands but you can also upsell your digital content and other services. Let’s take the example of a weekend subscriber who reads all the sports content but has limited access. Using analytics, you can understand the behaviour of this subscriber, identify the upsell opportunity, and target them with an unlimited sports pack at a slightly higher rate.

The data that the paywall can feed into your audience managers and marketing managers enables you to better target your audience with ads and promotions that are tied to the individual’s interests which leads to a greater chance of engagement and further action by the customer.  Additionally you are increasing ARPU, both in terms of their value to you and to advertisers.

Boost Revenue and Engagement with Subscription Data

Unifying the subscription data you acquire from the paywall with promoted ads means that your website is offering a targeted and personalised experience to the customer.

Customers want to feel that they are receiving a tailored experience and if you can offer this to them in the form of your digital content along with the ads on your site, then you increase the chances of this customer returning and reduce the chance of churn.

Interested in hearing about the success we’ve seen working with publishers to increase subscriber engagement and ARPU?

Get in touch with our digital experts to find out just how you can do that!