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Paid Subscribers vs. “Unpaid” Visitors:
The Counter-intuitive Revenue Reality for Publishers with Paywalls
CROs and revenue managers on the publishing side have spent tremendous time, effort and resources on converting visitors to subscribers - the “holy grail” of audience marketing. Subscriptions can generate up to 70% of total revenue for well established print + digital content providers like The New York Times, where digital subscriptions account for 52% of all subscription revenue.
Yet subscriptions are only a fraction of total visitors to a digital site (around 5% for the most successful publishers), with the balance either turned away at the paywall, allowed a limited number of free visits, then becoming targets of a subscription marketing full court press to convert.
Here are some major publications and the % of uniques represented by subscribers:
Publishers understand the value of a subscriber in terms of recurring revenue, however are they needlessly limiting other revenue streams to optimize subscriptions?
Subscription conversion marketing can be as much about managing churn as it is growing new revenue. The question Turnstil asks is why not earn revenue with each and every visitor?
Here is an illustration of the potential gains in using a rewarded advertising approach like Turnstil (a short interactive ad experience where the media consumer exchanges attention for limited access to content).
An earlier version of Turnstil (Ultramercial) actually increased ad revenue and subscription revenue for Salon.com:
Talk about a rewarding, 3 way approach!
For more on Rewarded Advertising or Turnstil, please email CMO John Osborn at email@example.com or click the Calendly link below to set up a 20 minute Zoom call.
Published Monthly by Turnstil LLC
Writers: John R. Osborn, Dana Jones
Design and Layout: Dana Jones
Technology: Matt Tomsho, Dana Jones
Marketing: Mathias Kruck, John Osborn