Despite relaxing paywalls, publishers like Bloomberg and The Atlantic see subscription spikes

Digiday 24 Mar 2020 04:01

Publishers are seeing a spike in subscriptions over the last four weeks in the U.S. and Europe, fueled by readers’ appetite to stay as informed as possible during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Bloomberg Media has witnessed record subscriber numbers since February, the average daily subscriber count is three times as high as usual, according to the publisher. Bloomberg, along with others like The Wall Street Journal, is putting virus-related content outside of its paywall. The Atlantic also had its single best week of subscriber growth despite coronavirus coverage not counting against its metered paywall.

In the U.S. digital subscriptions rose 63% in the past week compared with the same period the year before, according to subscription technology platform Piano, which works with 300 clients globally including magazine publishers, newspapers and digital news publishers.

“Right now,  what we’re seeing is a surge in acquisitions and no evidence of any change in either active cancellations or credit card failure,” said Michael Silberman, SVP strategy, Piano. “The data suggests it’s OK to still be keeping some content behind the paywall and that readers will respond and pay for content.”

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Bloomberg MediaMichael SilbermanThe Chicago SunCEO Nykia WrightUS
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