6 Ways AI Can Grow Subscriptions for Media Publishers

The world of publishing is an extremely competitive sector. To stay relevant in this area of business, publishers must innovate and employ groundbreaking ideas and technology. The effectiveness of paywalls and digital subscriptions is ripe for improvement using rapidly improving artificial intelligence (AI) features.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is the ability of a computer or machine to exhibit traits or perform tasks in a way that seems to simulate human reasoning through the use of complex sets and layers of algorithms. AI can process data faster and in much greater volume than humans can, which allows smart systems to automatically make many improvements to achieve a desired outcome.

In fact, many of the largest media publishers have been building AI tools for media content production. Now, there are growing opportunities to build AI-powered digital subscriptions.

How Publishers Use AI to Grow Subscription Revenue

1) AI Data Analysis & Segmentation

AI excels at data analysis, looking for patterns in large volumes of visitor data, and making automated decisions based on those patterns. It is also good at surfacing those patterns and opportunities in reports that humans can easily understand.

AI algorithms can analyze customer data and segment them into groups based on their preferences, behavior, and demographics. This information can help companies tailor their subscription offers to different customer segments, offering more personalized and relevant content to each group.

Better-tailored subscription offers can drive more subscribers, higher subscription price points, and longer retention.


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2) AI-Generated Offer Copy and CTAs

One of the most important aspects of a marketing strategy is copy that motivates a visitor to take action, subscribe, follow, click, share, etc.  The more compelling the offer is presented, the more likely it is that the reader will accept it.

A call-to-action (CTA) works best when the language resonates with the visitor quickly, aligning with the visitor's intent, preferences, demographic, and in a tone that the visitor responds to.  

Earlier this year, Admiral announced the integration of OpenAI’s GPT engine into its Visitor Relationship Management (VRM) platform. The AI generates CTA and visitor engagement offer copy based on data about the visitor  history, the content topic, copy tone, and more. The AI will then use this information to formulate CTA's to drive visitor conversion on subscription offers.

Admiral AI-Powered Visitor Engagement

3) AI Subscriptions Targeting Boost

Website traffic is not constant, and not all content performs the same. If you want to get subscription offers in front of the maximum number of visitors, then you want to present your offer when traffic spikes around a viral story, breaking news, sports scores or live draft picks, etc.

Additionally, if you can know exactly when a story is surging in popularity and traffic, that impacts the value equation a visitor considers. The more valuable and timely the content, the more willing a visitor is to purchase a subscription to see that piece, or more like it. It is the metaphorical strike when the iron is hot, making hay while the sun shines.

Admiral's Popularity and Surge Targeting automates that process so every publisher can put their best offer forward when traffic spikes. Whether it is a news story breaking at 3am or an unexpected viral spike due to a link on Twitter, the AI in Admiral's platform automatically identifies the spike, checks your settings for how you want to handle it, and puts the right CTA in front of the visitors to that content.

Digital subscription AI provides real-time intelligence and actions to optimize visitor conversions.


4) AI-Assisted Churn Analysis 

In media publishing, churn refers to the rate at which customers cancel their subscriptions.

AI can analyze customer data to identify patterns and factors that contribute to churn, such as the lack of engagement with certain types of content, pricing, and subscription plans. Companies can use this information to improve their content offerings, pricing, and customer retention strategies.

Media publishers know that it is not enough just to increase the number of subscribers they have. Without a strategy for retention, churn will eat away profits, and annual recurring revenue (ARR).

AI can help brands mitigate churn, as well as provide predictive analytics.  By analyzing historical data, AI algorithms can make predictions about future customer behavior, such as the likelihood of a customer subscribing or churning. This information can help companies optimize their subscription offers, pricing, and marketing strategies.

5) AI Customer Service Enhancements

Customer satisfaction is a measure of how well customers are happy or content with the services rendered by a company. When customers are happy, customer retention is improved, customers are more likely to upgrade to premium subscription plans, and net revenue retention (NRR) grows. Additionally, happy customers are more likely to share articles and recommendations via word of mouth and social media, contributing to new growth.

When customers are dissatisfied, it leads to churn as well as a drop in the company’s reputation.

Artificial intelligence can be used to improve customer satisfaction via:

  • Personalization:  AI algorithms can analyze user data, such as browsing history and search behavior, to provide personalized recommendations and content suggestions. This can help improve the user experience and increase engagement with the website.

  • Chatbots: AI-powered chatbots can provide 24/7 customer support and help answer common questions and issues. This can free up human customer support agents to handle more complex issues and improve response times.

  • Sentiment analysis: AI algorithms can analyze social media and other online platforms to monitor customer sentiment and feedback. This can help publishers identify areas for improvement and address any issues quickly and proactively.

  • Content moderation: AI can help automate the moderation of user-generated content, such as forums, comments, and reviews, to ensure they meet community standards and reduce the workload of human moderators.

6) AI-Powered A/B Testing

Machine learning can drive A/B testing to automate conversion optimization. As a first step, an AI subscription feature can present two offers to your visitors, or the same offer with variant copy, colors, etc. It can run an A/B test of the variants across particular visitor segments, or all visitors.

AI subscription offer testing can automatically select the best-performing CTA, and then leverage it going forward for the highest possible return.

Admiral is offering AI-powered A/B testing to beta testers of our Visitor Relationship Management (VRM) platform. The upcoming release will be available to a limited number of publishers in early summer 2023. 

AI-powered data analysis can help companies make data-driven decisions about their digital content subscription offers, resulting in improved customer satisfaction, engagement, and retention.


Want to Test Drive AI-Powered Visitor Engagement?

Admiral helps publishers across the world grow visitor relationships and revenue. The VRM platform uses a single tag for publishers to start leveraging VRM modules for paywall and subscription offers, growing newsletter and social media signups, consent management, adblock revenue recovery, donation campaigns, and more.

If you are interested in the productivity, conversion, and visitor revenue gains AI can deliver, request a demo or start your free trial today.

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