Print Is Alive: How Bundled Digital & Print Subscriptions Have Rejuvenated the Publishing Industry
What You’ll Learn:
As the number of digital subscriptions to newspapers continues to rise, publishers are increasingly investing in new technology to support digital transformation.
However, print still accounts for almost 90% of overall global circulation revenues, and multiple platform integrations and disparate data sets make the management of subscriber operations a slow and complex task.
Thankfully, no longer are publishers forced to choose between legacy, print-focused subscriber management platforms and emerging paid content platforms.
It seems that more and more statistics, facts and figures are revealed every day reinforcing just how successful the uptake in paid digital subscriptions has been for the publishing industry.
In 2018, Guardian Media Group reported that their digital revenues had outstripped print for the first time. The story was the same for The Times and The Sunday Times as they reached a milestone 500,000 subscribers; News UK, owner of the Times titles, said this was its most successful year since the digital subscription model was launched in 2010.
Each year, global digital circulation revenues continue to grow. Publishers’ heavy investments in digital subscription models are paying off, resulting in more widespread use of paid content initiatives than ever before.
So, where does this leave print circulation? Is print losing out to digital in the reader revenue stakes? Can publishers now afford to invest less in print and more in digital?
Despite the increased consumer uptake of digital subscriptions in recent years, the substantial global market for print subscriptions is still strong – and publishers should leverage that to future-proof brand and drive digital engagement.
Print revenues account for almost 90% of overall global circulation revenues, or $86bn, compared to the $3bn attributed to digital revenues.
While digital transformation has become increasingly and undeniably important, there remains a firm place in the market for print. Data suggests that readership and engagement for print are just as robust as digital, and publishers can continue to boost their growing digital reader revenues with complementary print and digital subscription strategies.
Supporting this further; global print and digital circulation year-on-year for the five-year period between 2013 to 2017 shows only an incredibly marginal decrease in print. This statistic may seem surprising, given the increased number of newspapers closing their doors in recent years, but indicates that for strong national brands, print is most certainly alive.
It is clear that the significant growth in digital circulation is not a result of dwindling print circulation; rather, the digital boost is representative of print customers diversifying the ways in which they consume content by accessing publications digitally as well as physically. Simply; more readers are interested in having multiple access points for content and are more likely to subscribe to publications offering flexible bundled products.
Introducing Physical Subscriptions: One Platform to Manage Print & Digital
The biggest update we have made to the eSuite Platform since its initial development; with the launch of Physical Subscriptions, eSuite now offers a complete physical and digital subscription management platform, addressing the end-to-end customer journey from acquisition to customer and billing management and retention.
The opportunity to create a single solution for print subscriptions and physical products was borne out of the increasing number of publishers MPP Global found were experiencing difficulties aligning separate, disparate or legacy digital and print subscription management systems.
Having spent many months with our media client base discussing the development of a new set of functionalities, and their requirements for a new solution, several common challenges emerged:
- Too many disparate systems to manage when launching print and digital products
- Increased spend and operational resource needed to maintain multiple systems
- Using time-consuming, manual software, such as spreadsheets, to launch product bundles
- Contending with discontinued and legacy infrastructures which restrict new product deployment, speed to market and innovation.
In response to these challenges, MPP Global has developed a rich set of features for eSuite, enabling the successful launch of print, digital and bundled packages using a single platform.
Physical Subscriptions offers complete subscription management for bundles which include a combination of digital, print and physical products, absolving the need for complex integrations between external systems and resulting in improved operational efficiency, increased speed-to-market and reduced cost of ownership.
Publishers can quickly and easily deploy new products and services, accessing a single, central system for management and reporting, with support for additional offline payment methods.
Core new features include:
- Pre-defined or User Defined Bundles – Pre-build omnichannel packages or give the power back to the customer to curate their own package.
- Issue-Based or Time-Based Business Models – Whether it’s a daily newspaper, weekly magazine, weekly digital pass, access per article, per minute or a combination of the above, eSuite can flexibly create the entitlement and fulfilment.
- Delivery Calendars & Redirects – Enable your subscribers to choose when, where and how they read your content.
- Distribution Management – Manage publication calendars and issue schedules quickly and easily in one place. Leverage efficiencies by centralising entitlements & fulfilments, and support complaint management with real-time integrations to your existing print and distribution partners.
- Extended Customer Care & Self-Care – Instantly reduce customer support costs by plugging in our pre-built, pre-integrated customer self -care journeys, enabling users to log in to their account and manage their subscription; from complaints, redirects, updating payment details and viewing orders and delivery schedules, to managing data preferences in-line with GDPR regulation. Provide your corporate clients with admin pages to manage users.
- Payment Optimisation & Extension – Quickly and easily plug into the most popular payment methods in your region, from SEPA & Direct Debit, Credit & Debit to Alternative Payment Methods such as PayPal, Real-time Bank Transfers, In-App Purchases, Offline Payments or Carrier Billing, as well as local payment types. Retain revenue by increasing payment success using card updater technology, retry rules and suppression windows, designed to retain & maximise revenue.
Find Out More About Physical Subscriptions in eSuite
Download the fact sheet here or request a demo below.