DC Thomson, one of UK’s leading publishers has reported a 36% increase in subscribers since October 2016, as a result of the recent deployment of a new subscription and e-commerce platform with MPP Global.
DC Thomson rolled out new digital paywall technology on its publications The Courier, Press and Journal and Energy Voice and saw an immediate increase of 18% in subscribers for these publications. The new business model has registrations growing at about 6% per month. The technology is powered by MPP Global, UK-based cloud platform, which works with other well-known publishers like Daily Mail, The Irish Times, and others worldwide.
Earlier this May, both The Guardian and New York Times have reported on record subscription based revenue, in a time where publishers are increasing efforts to combat against declined advertising revenue and the increasing reliance of centralized newtworks and consumers perception of high-quality news.
DC Thomson came to this point after initially experimenting with a hard paywall with Energy Voice, which ended up capping its readership at 10,000 users a month. The publisher then saw Energy Voice metered to 150,000 readers. It then employed this model for the launch of Aberdeen-based Press & Journal four years ago, and rolled it out to the Courier in October last year.
Speaking about the project, Kirsten Morrison, Head of Digital at DC Thomson, said: “While we have been offering paid content for some time, we are excited to now be providing our consumers and subscribers with an enhanced and more flexible service.
“The integration of eSuite with our other platforms provides us with a centralized view of our consumers to help enrich consumer profiles and drive optimization of our products and services.”
There are still questions and examples needed on how DC Thomson is customizing their product bundles to tailor to user needs, however, the thing that is evident is their subscription centralization through the use of the DCT passport; where users can manage and purchase their subscription across all the brands.
The current model leading in the current paid subscription model is the use of metered access content. Other models include once click free access, subscription revenue share, one price all access subscription (similar to the Netflix model), transaction-focused based on per article read through credits or direct payment.
Only time will tell which paid subscription model will become the leading solution, however the jigsaw puzzle in all of this is data, and publishers are finally taking the brave initiative with the help of its’ tech vendors, in order to bridge the personalization gap.