Nieman Foundation at Harvard
HOME
          
LATEST STORY
FOIA site MuckRock launches new efforts to let users track projects and contribute to reporting costs
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.
FOIA site MuckRock launches new efforts to let users track projects and contribute to reporting costs
MuckRock is also debuting project pages that will highlight groups of FOIA requests and let users follow specific stories.
Do article tags matter? Maybe not for traffic, but publishers are using them to glean insights
Analytics company Parse.ly found that sites are expanding their use of article tags to track sponsored content and control paywall access.
It’s time to apply for a visiting Nieman Fellowship
The Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard wants to hear your idea for making journalism better. Come spend a few weeks working on it in Cambridge. Deadline: October 31.
What to read next
2577
tweets
The New York Times built a Slack bot to help decide which stories to post to social media
The bot, named Blossom, helps predict how stories will do on social and also suggests which stories editors should promote.
1310Jo Ellen Green Kaiser: Do independent news outlets have a blind spot when it comes to ethnic media?
The head of the Media Consortium argues that, by defining themselves in opposition to mainstream media, independent progressive outlets miss out on the power of ethnic and community journalism.
1029Newsonomics: 10 numbers on The New York Times’ 1 million digital-subscriber milestone
Digital subscribers are proving to be the bedrock of the Times’ business model going forward. How much more room is there for growth — and at what price points?
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 ➚
Media Consortium
News Corp
Gawker Media
The Weekly Standard
Connecticut Mirror
Placeblogger
Craigslist
FiveThirtyEight
Creative Commons
MediaNews Group
Lens
Mother Jones