The Philadelphia Inquirer - Sustaining Local News Through Crisis

May 21, 2020 Piano Team

Watch Megan Parzych, Vice President Marketing at The Philadelphia Inquirer and Michael Silberman, SVP Strategy at Piano discuss lessons learned during the Coronavirus crisis.

Six weeks after restrictions were introduced across the country due to the Coronavirus crisis, the incredible value that journalism provides has never been clearer. That value has been reflected in the record audience and digital subscription surge that many publishers saw in March and April. What's worked? What's next? How should publishers start to consider the long term, to continue driving their businesses forward while retaining all those new customers? 

This webinar was hosted by The Local Media Consortium as part of the LMC Virtual Conference 2020.

Key takeaways:

  • Find the balance between public service and business growth by allowing readers unrestricted access to content that pertains to public health and safety, while keeping other content subject to normal paywall rules. This grows your audience and builds brand loyalty while still maintaining subscription growth. Many readers opt into subscriptions to support local media sources through the crisis.

  • Even with the rise of new subscriptions throughout the pandemic, churn rates have stayed steady or even dropped for some publishers in some regions. Piano data shows an overall 17% drop in churn for subscriptions acquired in March compared with January and February.

  • Paid trial subscriptions are an important tactic for growth and are one of the key factors for the improvement in retention.

  • Print newspaper readers are showing higher digital engagement in recent months, so encouraging them to activate online access is an important tactic that's showing better results. The Inquirer leveraged full-page newspaper ads and emails to print subscribers to guide readers to their site and saw double their average of print activation and a tenfold increase in newsletter signups from print ads.


Previous Article
Webinar With TechCrunch: Building and Growing a Successful Subscription Business
Webinar With TechCrunch: Building and Growing a Successful Subscription Business

A year ago TechCrunch launched Extra Crunch — a membership product based around exclusive premium content. ...

Next Article
Subscriptions Rise With Coronavirus Coverage: Weekly Updated Chart
Subscriptions Rise With Coronavirus Coverage: Weekly Updated Chart

Piano has been tracking subscription trends in Europe and the United States since the beginning of March, j...