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Understanding why readers subscribe, why they remain loyal

This multi-section report unpacks reader motivations to subscribe.

This inquiry by API and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research into the reader behavior driving the rising tide of subscription revenue focuses on analyzing conversion, with clear breakdowns along medium, outlet size, and subscriber demographics. The expansive findings fill 93 pages, but are helpfully divided into digestible sections broken up by media entity size and scope, as well as references to nine customer paths to subscription. The breakdown on page 3 is the fastest way to absorb the high points of the comprehensive qualitative and quantitative data compiled in this 18-month-long, 4000+ subscriber study.

There’s also a handy PDF download for deeper reading into the subsequent sections.

The move toward subscriptions will require measuring audiences differently, with analytics that measure deep engagement and not just page views. Publishers will need to segment audiences by their loyalty also and by their eventual likelihood to pay. Perhaps most significantly, the newsroom and business sides of news organizations will be aligned more than before. The move toward subscriptions places the newsroom—and quality content worth paying for—at the center of the business strategy.”