Lenfest, Shorenstein Whitepaper Receives Widespread Recognition

On August 13th, the Lenfest Institute, in partnership with Harvard’s Shorenstein Center, published whitepaper about the use of paymeters in digital subscription acquisition. Since then, multiple publications have highlighted the report in their coverage. Here are some highlights:


Nieman Lab: “Tighten up that paywall! (And some other lessons from a study of 500 newspaper publishers)”

“When The New York Times first launched its paywall back in 2011, it offered readers 20 free stories a month. A little over eight years later, that figure seems crazy generous — today you can read just five free Times stories a month before being asked to pay — and where the Times goes, so will other papers go: New research suggests that most newspaper publishers with successful metered pay model strategies do better with higher “stop rates,” not letting a reader sample too much before they’re asked to pay up.”


MediaPost.com: ”Study: Stricter Paywalls, Email Newsletters Help Boost Paid Subs”

“Publishers with stricter paywalls, email newsletters and clearly defined audiences were most likely to boost reader revenue, a survey of more than 500 digital publications found.

Publishers growing their digital subscriptions are outperforming the industry average by a factor of 10, according to the study by Harvard’s Shorenstein Center and the nonprofit Lenfest Institute.”


Folio Magazine: Vast Majority of Metered Paywalls Aren’t Tight Enough”

“Harvard University’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy and the Lenfest Institute for Journalism released a detailed white paper on Tuesday summarizing the findings of a study evaluating the performance of digital subscriptions at over 500 for-profit newsrooms dating back to 2011.

The authors say the study examined a range of newspapers, magazines, digital brands and regional publications that offer online subscriptions or membership models, drawing data from publisher surveys as well as paywall software provider Piano Media, Facebook’s Local News Subscription Accelerator and the Knight-Lenfest Newsroom Initiative, among other sources.”

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