Tuesday, August 4

Module 1: Paywall models, premium content, best practices in subscriber engagement

10:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
(New York time)

Master Class moderator

Grzegorz Piechota Grzegorz (Greg) Piechota
Researcher-in-Residence, International News Media Association (INMA)

Key themes for this module

When planning your digital subscription product, one must consider what's behind the paywall (your value proposition) and what's in front of the paywall. Paywalls are essentially a segmentation tool to filter out readers who have the highest willingness to pay. In this module, we will reveal, based on years of research, who's most likely to pay? And for what?

  • Who’s going to buy first and who will buy next? What role engagement plays in your subscription strategy?
  • Which paywall models — freemium or meters — are the most frequent across the world and why? Which one is best for you?
  • What are the pros and cons of paywalls and membership models without paywalls?
  • How the most advanced dynamically targeted paywalls work and what’s their performance?
  • What are the reasons people pay for news content? And how to discover how much to charge?

Case studies

Espen Egil Hansen Our transformation toolbox: How Norway's Aftenposten went from digital-first to audience-first and I went from being an editor to become a CEO
Espen Egil Hansen, former Chief Executive Officer and Editor-In-Chief, Aftenposten, Norway

Sarah Barth An insider’s look behind our paywalls: How a regional news powerhouse in Germany launched its digital subscription products and the lessons learnt after their first two years
Sarah Barth, Senior Conversion Manager, Funke Digital, Germany

Tuesday, August 11

Module 2: Customer journeys, best practices in subscriber acquisition, KPIs and benchmarks

10:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
(New York time)

Key themes for this module

Knowing your reader and how she makes decisions about engaging with your news product is paramount to understand her subscription journey and plan the ways to influence it. In this module, we will discuss the best practices in attracting readers to the site, increase the frequency of visits, and help them develop a habit of reading, expose to the right offers at the right time, all to convert them into paying customers.

  • How do readers make decisions about reading and about purchase of the subscription?
  • How to track performance of your subscription journey? And what benchmarks can you use to compare your performance with the peers from all over the world?
  • How many subscribers should you aspire to have in the first year, or the third?
  • What did the news industry leaders do to acquire their first 1,000 subscribers? And how did they scale to the first 100,000? Or a million?

Case studies

Katia Debusschere Our acquisition toolbox: How Mediahuis in Belgium attracts readers to its sites and converts them into subscribers
Katia Debusschere, Manager, Acquisition and Conversion, Mediahuis, Belgium

Ned Desmond An insider's look behind our paywall: How a tech news startup TechCrunch launched its digital subscription product and the lessons learnt after its first 18 months
Ned Desmond, Chief Operations Officer, TechCrunch and Engadget, United States

Tuesday, August 18

Module 3: Subscriber experiences and flows, launch tips and tricks, best practices in retention

10:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
(New York time)

Key themes for this module

Subscriber experience revolves around moments of truth: when they want to find news, when they try to purchase the subscription, and when the time comes to renew. In this module, learn how to design the flows that help readers succeed using your Web site or an app and how to maximise the value of their subscription. Plus: let’s review how the paywall marketing and communication has changed over a decade.

  • How to win every visit of your subscribers?
  • How to avoid the most common mistakes that cost you money: when people try to buy and fail, and when wish to continue reading but you cancel their subscription?
  • How to onboard new customers, so they never want to leave
  • How to prepare your readers, employees, shareholders, advertisers and others for your digital subscription launch?
  • What are the best practices in the paywall launch campaigns?

Case studies

Ben Lappin Our retention toolbox: How The Guardian engages readers and retains them as supporters
Ben Lappin, Director, Retention and Customer Experience, The Guardian, United Kingdom

German Frassa Gabriela Bolognese An insider’s look behind our paywall: How the leading national news site in Spain, El Mundo, launched its paywall and the lessons learnt after its first nine months
Gabriela Bolognese, Chief Digital Officer, Unidad Editorial, Spain
German Frassa, Director, Digital Products and Audience Development, Unidad Editorial, Spain

Supported by

Questions? Contact us

Katy King

Event Manager
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Tom Corbett

Head of European Division
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Madhavi Sekhri

Head - South Asia Division
Tel.: +91 99716 00632

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Ana Gutierrez

Directora Regional Latinoamérica
Tel.: +503 7986 7383

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