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The 3 types of news subscribers: Why they pay and how to convert them

This report from API examines what news organizations can learn from a deeper knowledge of the emotional and behavioral factors that affect people’s subscription decisions.

Research from the American Press Institute identified three types of subscribers:

  • Civically Committed support missions and initiatives that reflect their personal values and commit to a higher-than-average number of subscriptions.
  • Thrifty Transactors pay for practical value but are highly selective about which publications make the cut.
  • Elusive Engagers are generally subscription-averse and view news and information as a commodity that’s easily obtained for free.

The difference between these archetypes underscores that there is not one revenue strategy that can apply to an entire audience. Further, segmenting news subscribers by mindsets as opposed to (or in addition to) modes of consumption (print vs. digital) or by demographics presents publishers with a considerably different way of thinking about acquisition and monetization for each archetype.

The piece offers strategies for attracting and converting each group. Other insights include execution issues by news enterprises, the need for a clearly articulated value proposition, and the importance of emphasizing your franchise topics.