News of quality, those that offer the readers an amalgamation of data, testimonials from sources and an adequate contextualization of the facts, duly verified, have become the levers that move the growing trend towards payment subscriptions or memberships in the joined printed and digital platforms.
We’ve already seen how the World Newspaper Organization has documented the high demand of the audiences that pay for news content, with a positive growth of a 0.5 percent per year as a result of the increase in the number of digital subscriptions by 208 percent between 2013 and 2018.
These indicators reflect something else: to the extent that the combined digital-print platforms achieve more revenue for their strategies of providing deeper context and more refined details, based on studies of the topics preferred by the audiences, the financial position of the printed newspapers is strengthened, whose income from circulation, although not so much from advertising, is still 86 percent in relation to their digital versions.
Another relevant detail is that the decline of printed media circulation has slowed down in the world, as a result of the reforms that those newspapers have made to attract more subscribers through digital channels with some “premium”, paid content or payment methods, which also let them receive voluntary contributions from the public or philanthropic subventions so that the information of quality, true and not false, and relevant topics, such as health, education, economy and technology, do not disappear any time soon.
The use of data to strengthen content or analysis of the news, as well as technologies that strengthen their shielding against false news, verifying at all times the reality or truthfulness of a fact, especially consulting social networks, has helped to maintain the credibility and trust of the combined or hybridized platforms. This is a determining factor in the increase in paid subscriptions.
But more than anything, the greatest interest lays in the technique of custom sponsor-memberships, through which a reader or user offers a contribution for the amount he prefers. This trend occurs when the digital users recognize that the matrix of the most accredited newspapers is about successfully resisting all tests of truthfulness and reliability of contents.
For this, the newsrooms must strive to know how to connect with the thematic preferences of the public, how to interact with them to generate commitment and loyalty, but more than anything, how to to ensure regular access or visits to the digital channel of the printed newspaper.
It’s not to be forgotten that the main secret lies in guaranteeing an intimate correlation between the valuable contents, differentiated from falsehoods and manipulations, and practices to ensure the assiduity of the users on their platforms.
– Translated from Spanish by Randy Rodriguez.