JUMP TO: Thursday | Friday

About the Summit

Deloitte Global predicts that half of adults in developed countries have at least two digital media subscriptions, and by the end of 2020, that average will have doubled to four.

Driven by the rise of online video and audio streaming services, the media consumers worldwide increasingly subscribe to online news, too.

In total, it is estimated about 350 million subscribers would have activated 580 million subscriptions by the end of 2018. Twenty million of them would have been news subscriptions.

Frustrated with challenges in monetisation of their content with advertising, many news publishers have started to charge consumers for access, and some of them found a great success, for example, The New York Times in the United States, or the Financial Times in the United Kingdom, or Amedia in Norway.

INMA is leading the news industry’s conversation on subscriptions with its signature Media Subscription Summit of which the second edition is convening on March 21-22, 2019, at Stockholm’s Hilton Slussen. The summit’s theme is “Innovating Around Consumers.”

The programme is built around the three key questions that the INMA membership network is asking: How to start a paywall? How to grow the media subscriptions after early victories? And what innovation is next in reader revenue?

Thursday, 21 March



Google’s Driving Reader Revenue Breakfast

Auditorium, Galleria Level, Hilton Slussen Hotel

Join Google for a breakfast conversation on the company’s efforts to drive subscriptions and consumer revenue for the news industry. Also learn more details on the Subscribe With Google and Propensity To Subscribe Initiatives.

Luca Forlin Luca Forlin
Director of Product Partnerships, GoogleLuca Forlin LinkedIn

Jim Albrecht Jim Albrecht
Product Management Director, GoogleJim Albrecht LinkedIn


Registration and Welcome Breakfast


Welcome to Media Subscriptions Summit

Auditorium, Galleria Level, Hilton Slussen Hotel

In early 2018, at the first media subscriptions summit in London we talked about the first victories. Later in the year, at a consumer engagement summit in Miami we talked about how to get control over churn and keep readers engaged. This spring in 2019, we meet in Stockholm to focus on growth: how to break the ceiling?

Earl J. Wilkinson Earl J. Wilkinson
Executive Director and CEO, INMA@earljwilkinsonEarl J. Wilkinson LinkedIn

Jess Ross Jess Ross
Chief Product Officer, Fairfax Media Jess Ross LinkedIn

Robert Whitehead Robert Whitehead
Board Member, McPherson Media Group@robertwhitehead Robert Whitehead LinkedIn


Theme: Subscription-First Media


What News Media Can Learn from Amazon, Netflix, Spotify and Other Leaders in Media Subscriptions?

Auditorium, Galleria Level, Hilton Slussen Hotel

Video and audio streaming companies run the world’s most popular media subscriptions, and they shape user expectations from news subscriptions, too. In this session, we want to learn best practices on data-driven product management from digital media industry leaders. Why does Amazon, Netflix and Spotify convert at 45% and more, while everybody in news gets 2%-3%?


The State and the Future of Reader Revenue in News Media Industry

Auditorium, Galleria Level, Hilton Slussen Hotel

Having converted most of the news brand fans and heavy users, publishers often face a challenge: how to grow reader revenue even further? One way is to sell more products to the existing customer base. Another way is to take paid offering to the mainstream market and start charging light and medium users of your outlets, as well as users of your content on other channels. Based on original research and analysis, INMA will share exclusive insights and advice: what might be the next big thing in reader revenue? How to innovate around customers? How to upgrade subscribers to more expensive tiers? What else can sell them to improve lifetime value? How to segment customers based on their willingness to pay and build new products for the light and medium users? What can we learn from other industries such as hospitality and travel about customer segmentation and channel management? How to strategize about the future role of digital media content aggregators such as Amazon, Apple or Spotify? What can we learn from the history of the cable industry?

Grzegorz (Greg) Piechota Grzegorz (Greg) Piechota
Researcher-In-Residence, INMA@g_piechotaGrzegorz (Greg) Piechota LinkedIn


Networking Break


Re-Orienting the Company for Scaling Up Digital Subscriptions

Auditorium, Galleria Level, Hilton Slussen Hotel

Whatever a strategy, culture will eat it for breakfast, as Peter Drucker famously wrote. Consider news media journeys: from print-focused to primarily digital, from advertising-based to subscription-first, from product-oriented to customer-centric. In this session, we will learn from the news subscriptions leaders how they make it all work together: strategy objectives, talent, skills, culture? Questions we will address: Who should lead the transformation to digital subscriptions — a chief revenue officer, a chief marketing officer, an editor in chief? How to re-organise marketing and business development teams around digital subscriptions? How to get the newsroom onboard? What new skills and talent do we need to grow our business? What partnerships with other companies are key in scaling up?

Christopher Bones Christopher Bones
Author, Leading Digital Strategy & Optimising Digital StrategyChristopher Bones

Andiara Petterle Andiara Petterle
VP Product & Operations, Grupo RBS@apetterleAndiara Petterle LinkedIn




Theme: Accelerating Growth After The Easy Wins


Best Practices in Accelerating Growth

Auditorium, Galleria Level, Hilton Slussen Hotel

After decades of chasing any audiences in print and online, news publishers have been reimagining its products and retooling its marketing tactics to attract and retain the paying consumers. In this case-study driven session, publishers from all over the world and all sizes will share their discoveries on what works best. How to mobilise users around your brand and your mission with cause or identity marketing? What are the most effective free and paid acquisition channels? How to best engage users and reduce churn? How to run experiments to improve our products and journeys? How to turn insights derived from data into business decisions? How to automate customer acquisition and retention workflows? How to use price research and testing to maximise value? How to change pricing with existing subscribers? How to personalise experiences?

Fernando Belzunce Fernando Belzunce
Editorial Director Regional Media, Vocento@beltxunFernando Belzunce LinkedIn

Ben Cotton Ben Cotton
Executive Director, Subscription Growth, The New York Times@benjaminrcottonBen Cotton

Marc Isler Marc Isler
Chief Revenue Officer, Digital Paid Media, Tamedia@misler Marc Isler LinkedIn


Networking Break


Creating New Content Products and New Customers

Auditorium, Galleria Level, Hilton Slussen Hotel

To attract new segments of consumers, some news publishers expand their bundles beyond news, and even develop new content-driven products such as newsletters, podcasts, verticals and apps. At the same time, some publishers enjoy a success with selling group media subscriptions to institutions and corporations, getting a boost to their numbers and revenue. In this session, we will explore the best practices in new content product and new customer development. How to evolve the value proposition to attract new segments of users? How to manage a portfolio of new products and subscription offers? How to sell digital subscriptions to businesses and institutions? How to keep individual readers acquired with group subscriptions?

Shéhérazade Semsar-de Boisséson Shéhérazade Semsar-de Boisséson
CEO, Politico Europe@SherazadeSemsar

James Webb James Webb
Group Product Manager, Financial Times@jameswebbJames Webb LinkedIn


Tech Companies Go After News Reader Revenue

Auditorium, Galleria Level, Hilton Slussen Hotel

In the race to dominate media consumers’ attention, data and relationships, technology companies have been closely following the shift to consumer revenue models. Reportedly, Amazon, Apple, Spotify and others are working on new subscription bundles that include movies and TV shows, music and podcasts, books and news. Platforms have started to approach publishers about joining. Here we come back to the question of the past decade: to collaborate or to compete? What lessons did publishers draw from the encounters with Facebook and Google?

Yasmin Namini Yasmin Namini
Digital Media Consultant and Advisor LinkedIn

Peter Wolodarski Peter Wolodarski
Editor-in-chief, Dagens Nyheter @pwolodarski Peter Wolodarski LinkedIn


Takeaways of the Day

Auditorium, Galleria Level, Hilton Slussen Hotel

Saving you time and effort, we summarise the biggest lessons of the summit’s first day in a bunch of witty insights put together into a convenient PowerPoint. Take it home, be a hero.


Programme Concludes for the Day


Cocktail Reception

Friday, 22 March



10 Strategies For Growing Your Subscriptions Business on Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger

Auditorium, Galleria Level, Hilton Slussen Hotel

Go in-depth across Facebook, Instagram and Messenger to understand which products, features and strategies drive starts and retention. Come prepared with questions for this interactive session.

Jon Heaton Jon Heaton
Head of News Partner Engineering EMEA, FacebookJon Heaton LinkedIn


Registration and Welcome Coffee


Welcome Back


How to Monetise the 97% Who Don’t Subscribe?

Auditorium, Galleria Level, Hilton Slussen Hotel

For years, the subscription-first news publishers have been focused on converting the most profitable 2-3% of online visitors, and have been monetising the others with advertising. Economist and tech entrepreneur Jim McKelvey is best known for co-founding Square, a mobile payments company. Now he tries to revolutionise payments for media content with his digital wallet Invisibly that can be topped up with cash or attention spent on watching video ads. Major U.S. media outlets, movie studios, advertisers are on board. Learn why!

Jim McKelvey Jim McKelvey
Director & Co-Founder, Square @2000F Jim McKelvey


Alternatives to the “Subscription Fatigue”: Innovations in Micro-payments

Auditorium, Galleria Level, Hilton Slussen Hotel

As publishers exhaust the most profitable segments of fans and heavy news users, they eye the less profitable ones. Having surveyed micro-payment innovators, we learn there is a segment of heavy users of news category who do not wish to commit to a single brand, as they prefer to access a number of sources. There are users who prefer buying an access for limited time--an hour, a week, a month or six months--rather than committing to a recurrent payment. And there are those who are ready to pay for an ad-free experience for the next 30 minutes. Is it finally the right time to think big on micro-payments? Who is selling more: content aggregator sites or digital wallets available across news sites? What to charge for: access to articles, or time passes, or something else? When to proceed with a payment -- before the read or after?

Cosmin Ene Cosmin Ene
CEO & Founder, LaterPay @cosmoeneCosmin Ene LinkedIn

Gautam Mishra Gautam Mishra
CEO & Founder, Inkl @jeamish Gautam Mishra


Networking Break


E-Commerce: What Else Can We Sell to Our Readers?

Auditorium, Galleria Level, Hilton Slussen Hotel

Some news publishers, especially former broadsheets and special-interest brands, see subscriptions as a transformative and target business model. Executives at mass-market brands have doubts: “Our content is not that premium as the New York Times. The willingness to pay for breaking news is not that high either…” Is online commerce an alternative that popular publishers can rely upon? Here’re poster childs making more than 50% revenue from selling cars, travels, home appliances, fashion and financial services. How different is monetising audience with commerce from advertising? Where is the money: in affiliate marketing or in retailing in-house? What content does generates leads and conversions?

Michal Branski Michal Branski
VP Strategy, Wirtualna Polska @vxel Michal Branski

Nick Flood Nick Flood
Managing Director, Digital, Dennis Publishing @nicholasfloodNick Flood LinkedIn


Advertising vs. Subscriptions: How to Balance Conflicted Objectives?

Auditorium, Galleria Level, Hilton Slussen Hotel

While revenue from digital subscriptions is fast growing, news publishers still make a lot of money with display advertising, sponsorships and branded content. Is there a conflict between these two business models, or perhaps a synergy? In this session, we will break down issues as targeting vs. reach, user experience vs. advertising inventory, and learn about how to make balanced products on top of it. How to balance conflicted objectives -- reach vs. targeted audience? How to build new advertising products with the rich data collected about subscribers? How to manage a portfolio of content with different business models attached?

Katarina Ellemark Katarina Ellemark
Product Manager, Mittmedia Katarina Ellemark




The Subscription-First Newsrooms

Auditorium, Galleria Level, Hilton Slussen Hotel

After transforming from print-first to digital-first, newsrooms enter a new phase: Readers First. With the shift towards subscriptions, newsrooms stop being cost centers for their companies, and they may become profit centers. How do editors and their teams rise to a challenge? What new skills do they learn? What new tools do they use? What habits of the past do they drop?

Alexandra Beverfjord Alexandra Beverfjord
Chief Editor and CEO, Dagbladet Aller Media @BeverfjordAlexandra Beverfjord

Danuta Breguła Danuta Breguła
Director Digital Strategy, Gazeta Wyborcza Danuta Breguła

Brendan Collogan Brendan Collogan
General Manager Customer Marketing, News Corp. @BrendanColloganBrendan Collogan


Coffee Break


Peer-to-Peer Exhibition: Dashboard-mania

Auditorium, Galleria Level, Hilton Slussen Hotel

You can’t manage what you can’t measure. News publishers all over the world reimagine their key performance indicators and sometimes choose to follow “North Star” metrics. They share data across organisations with unique dashboards for their executives, marketers, and editors. In this first and only exhibition, we will look into the best practices of in-house and vendor analytics tools and allow everybody to play with them.

  • Learn the best practices in data sharing across a news organisation
  • Compare the dashboards displayed in the newsrooms and marketing departments
  • Ask any questions to news analysts and the leading vendors

Takeaways of the Day and Summit Conclusions

Auditorium, Galleria Level, Hilton Slussen Hotel

Saving you time and effort, we summarise the biggest lessons of the summit in a bunch of witty insights put together into a convenient PowerPoint. Take it home, be a hero.


Summit Concludes