HOME
          
LATEST STORY
What’s the right news experience on a phone? Stacy-Marie Ishmael and BuzzFeed are trying to figure it out
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
Nov. 26, 2012, 11:45 a.m.
Business Models
macysxmas

News companies use Cyber Monday to attract subscribers, push coupons

As retailers court holiday shoppers, news companies try to get in on the action.

News companies aren’t just covering Cyber Monday this year — they’re hawking their own wares, trying to woo new subscribers with holiday discounts.

The New York Times has a half-off special that runs just over six months. It means you can get all-digital access for $110 rather than the regular $227.50 from now through mid-May. The Wall Street Journal is offering a fine deal too:

The team at Honolulu Civil Beat — which, like the Times, uses a metered paywall — is scaling its sale in smaller terms. Today only, get a 12-month subscription deal that amounts to “27 cents per day for access to Hawaii’s most informed watchdog journalism.” (Full-disclosure: I used to be a reporter for Civil Beat.) Usually the monthly subscription is $19.99; this knocks it down to $7.99 per month.

Discounted subscription offers have a long history in the news business. Most newspapers have cut back on print discounting from the churn-happy days of old. But digital subscriptions are still relatively new, which means getting exposure to new customers is key. Some paywalls limit the amount of sampling a reader gets to do before paying; letting people in at a discounted starting rate can help build a future base of full-freight customers.

Elsewhere, Cyber Monday is an opportunity to reinforce the idea that print advertising and coupons in the print newspaper are still useful. For example, The Chicago Tribune isn’t just offering 45 percent cheaper subscription rates. It’s also giving out free newspapers — yes, the physical ink-on-newsprint kind — at retail locations.

“We hope this free copy highlighting the best deals will help so you can spend more time with friends and family and less wondering where to find bargains,” Bob Fleck, the Tribune’s senior vice president of advertising, said in a statement.

POSTED     Nov. 26, 2012, 11:45 a.m.
SEE MORE ON Business Models
SHARE THIS STORY
   
Show comments  
Show tags
 
Join the 15,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
What’s the right news experience on a phone? Stacy-Marie Ishmael and BuzzFeed are trying to figure it out
“Nobody has to read you. You have to earn that. You have to respect people’s attention.”
Come work for Nieman Lab
We have an opening for a staff writer in our Cambridge newsroom.
The newsonomics of telling your audience what they should do
At WNYC, a public radio station is getting more aggressive about telling people what to do: go vote, get more sleep, stay healthy. What happens when a news outlet starts talking about behavior change?
What to read next
686
tweets
Ken Doctor: The New York Times’ financials show the transition to digital accelerating
The numbers may look flat, but they contain a continuing set of ups and downs. Up next: executing on a year’s worth of launches.
496Controlled chaos: As journalism and documentary film converge in digital, what lessons can they share?
Old and new media types from journalism, documentary, and technology backgrounds gathered at MIT to share practices and discuss mutual concerns.
389Here’s some remarkable new data on the power of chat apps like WhatsApp for sharing news stories
At least in certain contexts, WhatsApp is a truly major traffic driver — bigger even than Facebook. Should there be a WhatsApp button on your news site?
These stories are our most popular on Twitter over the past 30 days.
See all our most recent pieces ➚
Encyclo is our encyclopedia of the future of news, chronicling the key players in journalism’s evolution.
Here are a few of the entries you’ll find in Encyclo.   Get the full Encyclo ➚
Groupon
Financial Times
El País
The Bay Citizen
Investigative Reporting Workshop
The Seattle Times
FiveThirtyEight
Reuters
American Public Media
NewsTilt
Topix
Ars Technica