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Prioritizing direct revenue for quality journalism, two case studies

These detailed case studies from Digital Content Next and the Lenfest Institute explore the finer points of successful metering and revenue-driving calls to action for Tribune Media, Slate, and The Guardian.

Publishers earn revenue from no more than 5 to 10 percent of their most loyal digital audience, as this report notes, but the strategies for capturing that value are still the subject of wild experimentation.

As publishers expand the available range of approaches, best practices and potentially repeatable wins are emerging. This report details two distinct stories of success in metering and membership with an approachable synthesis of strategies that apply to any reader-revenue test.

The 5 key practices include:

1. Support commitments to paid content initiatives at the highest levels of top management. [like we detail in our focus on a mini-publisher perspective and performance]

2. Invest in premium content — including the creation of original content — for direct consumer revenue subscription products that inform, educate, enrich, benefit, entertain and thrill consumers to drive subscriptions, high levels of engagement and renewal.

3. Support direct-to-consumer subscription products with opportunity for growth by investing in dedicated staffing, marketing, and technology and developing disciplined subscription marketing operations to optimize your marketing spend.

4. Where possible, push for a high level of accommodations from key third parties – Amazon, Facebook and Google in particular — for subscription content and products. These platforms need to continue to develop policies and tools that provide for the data capture, paywall management and the direct customer relationships required to manage a subscription business.

5. TV/cable companies should consider launching strongly-branded Subscription Video on Demand (SVOD) services.