Piano Releases Inaugural Subscription Performance Benchmark Report

By Patrick Appel, Director of Research

Piano works with hundreds of organizations that collectively manage thousands of websites and billions of visitors. This vast network provides an unparalleled benchmark dataset through which we can understand digital engagement, conversion and retention trends. For the first time ever, we’ve packaged up this data into our inaugural, bi-annual Subscription Performance Benchmark Report so you can see the numbers that matter most to your subscription business.

In this first edition, we dive into our learnings from a year in which we saw a surge in subscriptions, due in part to COVID-19 and in part to a shift in consumer acceptance to support and pay for good journalism. Some highlights:   

  • The newscycle around COVID-19 effectively onboarded new subscribers, sparking increased retention rates since March 2020.
  • Hard paywalls have 10x higher conversion rates than soft paywalls, which have double the conversion rate of bottom ribbons.
  • 15.2% of visitors to longer-tenure sites saw a paid offer in Q4 — almost 3X that of more recently launched sites.

With ongoing shifts in consumer demand over this last year, we hope these insights will help publishers remain nimble in their approach to data-driven customer experiences. See all the insights from our benchmark data by visiting the full report, and get an even closer look by registering for our May 19th webinar with me, SVP of Strategy Michael Silberman and some of our most valuable clients to hear how we helped them optimize their subscription business during a year like no other. 

Get the report