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


Registration and Welcome Breakfast


Welcome to Media Subscriptions Summit

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?

Theme: Subscription-First Media


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

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%?


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

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. Based on original research and analysis, INMA will share exclusive insights and advice: what might be the next big thing in reader revenue?


Networking Break


Re-Orienting the Company for Scaling Up Digital Subscriptions

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?



Best Practices in Accelerating Growth

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?

Networking Break


Creating New Content Products and New Customers

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?

Learning From An Underdog

A number of journalism startups try to break to the market by unbreaking the news. Some of them address a broad market while others address a niche. Some focus on quality content, some on engagement. All of them wish to redefine what is news, and they are passionate about reader revenue.

  • What can established publishers learn from startups about news consumers?
  • What innovative news experiences do startups provide?
  • How do they mobilise thousands of supporters in crowdfunding campaigns?

Takeaways of the Day

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


Registration and Welcome Coffee


Welcome Back


Panel: A Year in Reader Revenue. What’s Next?

In 2018 in London, the news subscriptions leaders such as Wall Street Journal or Dagens Nyheter of Sweden shared their success stories and inspired many participants such as La Vox de Galicia in Spain. For this session, we invite our past speakers and participants to share an update: What has happened to their growth since then? What is new that they work on? And what is on the horizon?


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

For years, the subscription-first news publishers have been focused on converting the most profitable customers, and have been monetising the rest with advertising. Although only 2%-3% of all visitors subscribe, annual revenue per subscriber can be even 100 times higher than ARPU of a free visitor. In this session, we invite the industry movers and shakers to share their perspectives: how to get more people to pay, and how to improve revenue per user for non-subscribers?

  • When is the right time and model for micro-payments?
  • What to charge for -- access to articles, or day passes, or something else?
  • Who is successful with crowdfunding journalism projects?
  • Are there any alternatives to monetise readers' attention?
  • What else can we sell to our readers?
  • What do we need to expand into e-commerce?

Networking Break


Advertising vs. Subscriptions: How to Balance Conflicted Objectives?

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?

Takeaways of the Day and Summit Conclusions

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




Post-Summit Peer-to-Peer and Vendor Exhibition: Dashboard-Mania

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