Subscription Models Summit

Thursday, October 26

Dallas | The Joule

The INMA Subscription Models Summit — part of the “INMA Connect: Educate, Engage, Experience (E³)” initiative — will explore the successes and failures of the metered model and freemium models, as well as micropayments and emerging alternate models. The Summit will be punctuated by a look at subscriptions outside of news media industry. Executives and managers alike will benefit from this in-depth day of programming that shares actionable case studies, discussions and presentations.

Data IconData & Audience Intelligence
acquisition iconAcquisition & Retention
Marketing Manager IconRevenue Strategy
subscriptions iconSubscriptions & Memberships

Key topics

  • Where does the metered model work and not work?
  • What's working with micropayments?
  • What's happening outside of media with subscriptions?
  • Why is the freemium model rising among regional dailies?
  • Alternate paid content models


Please check back frequently for updates to the agenda.

Thursday, October 26

8:00 a.m.

Welcome and Overview

Robert Whitehead Conference Moderator: Robert Whitehead
Disruptionist & Media Entrepreneur, McPherson Media Group LinkedIn

8:15 a.m.

Subscription Models

Predictive Analytics World

As W. Edward Deming said “In God we trust; all others must bring data.” — opening the conference with a foundation mindset surrounding data, Predictive Analytics World makes the how and why of predictive analytics understandable and captivating. Beyond understanding, data should be at the center of all business decisions in news media companies. Listen to how data analytics can and has transformed businesses, processes, and delivered results. Although seemingly daunting, learn how you can use predictive analytics in applicable ways, starting simply and growing deeper as you find the hidden gold in your data.

Eric Siegel Eric Siegel
Founder, Predictive Analytics World LinkedIn @predictanalytic

9:00 a.m.

Data Drives Understanding Your Subscribers in a Completely Different Way - Using FUSE/Google Surveys to Understand Your Subscribers in a Completely Different Way

Friend or foe, no one can ignore the power of Google in our industry, and in data. Learn about the successes of using a consultative approach, focused specifically on the news media industry, from Google's FUSE project. Collecting your data, applying analysis, and best practices for subscribers, google identifies the right monetization strategies and offerings for each audience segment. Big data drives the insights into how better to engage with your audiences, how to price for each audience, and what is your approach for each type of user. Hear from North American newspapers partnering with Google's FUSE project, and see for yourself how big data is the new subscriber acquisition and retention super power.

Valentin Cornez Valentin Cornez
Partnerships Lead, FUSE/Google Surveys LinkedIn

9:30 a.m.

It's not just for sales! Using the Sales Funnel for Consumer Marketing

We all want aggressive sales people to close those advertising deals. Each sale translates into thousands for our organizations. There are hundreds of sales funnel products, each designed to move the prospect down the funnel to an ultimate sale. Why are we only applying this aggressive focus to advertising sales? Consumer marketing is the ultimate sale funnel that requires the same focus, aggressive sales and data analysis. Learn how, after an eye opening design thinking session, Gatehouse is using Salesforce for their consumer marketing, collaborating on acquisition and retention. By viewing each side of the table differently, a process and approach typically reserved for the sales side of the house is now being applied to customers.

Robert Saurer Robert Saurer
Vice President Consumer Marketing, GateHouse Media LinkedIn

10:00 a.m.

Subscription Powerhouse: Honolulu Star-Advertiser

For an alternative take, listen to how Honolulu is seeing the benefits of digital subscriptions in their market. Sharing their success stories and the changes they've made not only to their digital subscriptions but their strategies around pricing, subscriber retention and acquisition - Aaron will provide the key learnings around their subscription journey. This section is designed to provide any market with insights, actionable steps to modifying your subscription models and the results from their changes to convince your organization of the value of your product...behind the subscription.

Aaron Kotarek Aaron Kotarek
Vice President, Circulation, Honolulu Star-Advertiser (Oahu Publications, Inc.) LinkedIn

10:45 a.m.


11:15 a.m.

Freemium Models

Rebuilding the World's Original Digital Subscription — From Content to Customer Led: The Wall Street Journal

Most media companies know that digital subscriptions are central to their business model ‐ some today, some tomorrow. Yet the experiences of news brands in national markets differ from regional markets, as do markets flooded by free news sources. What best practices or market contexts allow the metered model to work vs. the freemium model? As we all know, the Publisher of the Journal, has set an ambitious target: Reach 3 million subscribers by the end of 2017. To help achieve that goal, the Journal recently took two big steps. It modified its digital access, which has been in place for 20 years. Learn about the 24-hour "guest pass" now being offered, and the subscribers' option of sharing articles for free on social media.

Jon Buckley Jon Buckley
Digital Sales & Media Director, The Wall Street Journal LinkedIn@jbuckly

11:45 a.m.

Playing the Field — Freemium and Metered Digital Access — The Boston Globe Story

Hedging your bets is not just for Vegas, Boston has taken this approach by offering certain content in a Freemium model site ( and offering premium content behind a metered digital subscription model site ( Debate the strategy, hear the lessons learned and the findings on each side of the field. Take the learnings from each side, and dig deep into the strategy and execution plan Boston implemented to grow subscriptions and audience, and whether this could be the right model for your market.

Peter Doucette Peter Doucette
Chief Consumer Revenue Officer, Boston Globe Media LinkedIn@pmdoucette

12:15 p.m.

Office Hours Lunch

Because there's never enough time to ask all the questions and dig deeper into the key point of any presentation — we're offering Office Hours. Grab your lunch and keep the conversations going over lunch with our presenters. This is your opportunity to consult with presenters, share your story, and engage in learning next steps to make a change.

1:30 p.m.

Micropayments and Alternate Models

Winnipeg Free Press Experience: Can it ever be enough?

Two years after introducing its micropayment system, the Winnipeg Free Press has 35,000 subscribers for its digital content. As the first Canadian newspaper to monetize its content via micropayments with impressive results, hear about their experiment and the strategy behind it. Engage with the group to discover if a micropayment strategy can help increase your digital subscriptions, or generate a new source of revenue for your content.

Christian Panson Christian Panson
Vice President Digital & Technology, Winnipeg Free Press LinkedIn@cpanson

2:00 p.m.

Data Analysis

Embrace the Octopus - Getting Your Arms Around Customer Data

Newspapers are awash in consumer data. And, with data flowing in from so many locations, it can feel like you are trying to embrace an octopus. This challenge is not unique to newspapers. Data is driving business across all industries, and companies are challenged with the ways to harness it to shape meaningful relationships with consumers. Learn from companies focused on unifying and using data to understand consumers, set pricing, market their brand and build loyalty. This session will feature 8 key takeaways that can be applied to newspapers.

Michelle Novak Michelle Novak
Marketing Advisor, LinkedIn@MichelleMNovak

2:30 p.m.

Out of the industry Analogous Inspiration

What it Takes for Continued Success in the Subscription Economy

A recent study revealed that Subscription businesses grew revenues 9 times faster than S&P 500 company revenues, and 4 times faster than US retail sales over 15 consecutive quarters. The subscription business model is being embraced by every industry, creating a whole new economy. One that we call the Subscription Economy. In this world, you will find that you are both competing with, and often learning from diverse companies that have one thing in common: a subscription business model. What does it take for a media company to be successful in this new economy? Working for a company like Zuora over the past 8 years has given me a ringside view into the creative ways in which leaders at diverse subscription businesses are driving innovation. Join me as I share a synthesis of these learnings, and useful frameworks that could help drive success in your business.

Monika Saha Monika Saha
GM Finance Product Line, Zuora LinkedIn

3:00 p.m.

Case Studies and Strategic Solutions - CNHI, Cox, and Others

Listen to rapid-fire North American news media companies present their subscription case studies; straight to the meat, no fluff, pure info. As an added level of education, we're having subscription scenarios evaluated by industry experts presenting their recommended solutions and plans of attack. Between the case studies and the strategic solutions you'll receive a 360-degree view of what's happening at various news media companies in North America - along with the strategic perspectives and solutions for industry scenarios we're all facing. Check back often to see the new cases and solutions being added daily!

Pull up a chair, take notes and be prepared. After the Case Studies and Strategic Solutions session we'll break for office hours/un-conferencing to allow you time to break into deep dive engagement groups with our presenters and fellow attendees, to dig into what you want to know more about, push back with alternate perspectives, and get the plan for moving forward with the scenario you've been charged with in your organization.

Laura Inman Nolan Laura Inman Nolan
Cox Media Group LinkedIn

Matthew Ipsan Matthew Ipsan
CNHI LinkedIn

4:00 p.m.

Un-conferencing/Office Hours

Use this time to further your actionable take-aways, engage with attendees and presenters, and participate in moderated un-conferencing to make the most of the presentations and your own unique market challenges. This is your time to dig deep, work with the resources in the room and close the day with your plans for your organization.

5:15 p.m.

Wrap-Up and Summit Conclusions

5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

Networking Cocktail

Join us for a glimpse inside the brand new newsroom of The Dallas Morning News. More details coming soon.

Supported by The Dallas Morning News

The Dallas Morning News logo

Questions? Contact us


Kris Williams
Membership Director
Dallas, Texas
Mobile: +1 214 354-6185
Click here to e-mail me