Subscription pricing strategy for publishers: Data, long-term view, lots of tests and risk-taking

What's New in Publishing 20 Jul 2021 06:45

New report looks into pricing strategies for digital news subscriptions post-COVID-19 bump

Before diving into specific case studies of successful publishers, it’s good to recap what strategic pricing actually is. Here’s one of the best explainers, from classic pricing textbook The Strategy and Tactics of Pricing by Thomas Nagle and co-authors.

“The purpose of strategic pricing is not simply to create satisfied customers. Customer satisfaction can usually be bought by a combination of over-delivering on value and underpricing products. The purpose of strategic pricing is to price more profitably by capturing more value, not necessarily by making more sales”, the book reads.

That explanation tracks on many levels. Some publishers can argue their goal is to provide as many subscribers as possible with quality journalism. But that’s actually the next step. At a basic level, all publishers have either a revenue number they need to hit to remain sustainable as they move from print to digital or a number of digital subscribers that would deliver the same.

This is pretty much what The New York Times set up some time ago. 

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theGlobeINMAThomas NagleInternational News Media AssociationThe Times
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