Nieman Foundation at Harvard
HOME
          
LATEST STORY
With Reported.ly vets, NowThis wants to make social reporting core to its original content ambitions
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
Nov. 26, 2012, 11:45 a.m.
Business Models

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 35,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
With Reported.ly vets, NowThis wants to make social reporting core to its original content ambitions
NowThis’s success with its short newsy clips and distributed content ambitions gave it a model worth emulating. Now it’s looking beyond the format as it invests in longform video, investigative journalism, and other original content.
“Media is broken,” so Medium’s launching a $5/month member program that offers small upgrades
“Let’s stop relying on ad buyers and social media echo chambers to determine what we put in our brains —  which is just as important, or more so, than what we put in our bodies,” Ev Williams says.
From coal to broadband to Trump’s budget, The Daily Yonder reports on rural life for the people actually living it
“Rural is like good art — you know it when you see it.”