Subscriber Trends Report Aligns with VRM Platform Benefits

Key trends in the recent Readership and Subscriber Trends Report by Chartbeat underscore the value of a visitor relationship management platform such as Admiral's. 

In the Chartbeat report for Press Gazette, they studied visitor data across 670 news websites over five months. The online subscriber statistics report analyzed frequency of visits of subscribers versus non-paying readers ,including registered users.

The report findings show digital circulation revenue is continuing to increase at a rapid pace, outpacing the revenue growth rate of online ads. the subscriber segment of many media outlets are were the new growth is happening.

The data also reinforces the potential of visitor relationship management features and outcomes. The engagement automation, journey building, and machine learning aspects are all purpose-built to offer the right message and action, at the right time, to grow your average revenue per visitor (ARPV). as well as retention, engagement, and brand affinity.

VRM helps moves readers through a maturity cycle from pre-regwall steps such as:

  • turning off an adblocker or following your brand on social, to
  • registration walls and newsletter signups, then to
  • transactions such as paid subscriptions, donations, events or more.

Whatever the publisher's objective, there's likely a visitor touchpoint that VRM can help optimize at scale via the automated marketing software. As a result, visitors build deeper, more authentic relationships, and publishers gain revenue. 

Subscriber Traffic Share is Highest in North America

 Among the sites studied, the United States audiences show the highest global share of traffic from subscribers at 32%, and another 4% as registered visitors.

The UK subscriber rate was 15%, with the rest of the world in the 6-8% range for subscriber traffic share.

Subscribers_region_chartbeat_pressgazetteSource: Chartbeat report for Press Gazette

The study notes that two large UK brands, Times and the Financial Times, leverage hard paywalls, which is less popular on US-based news sites according to the report author. To learn more about hard paywalls, metered paywalls, and others, visit our Paywall Types FAQ.

Increased Subscriptions with Registrations

Jill Mercandante Nicholson, Chartbeat’s marketing chief, told the Press Gazette that registered user traffic will continue to rise “largely because of the popularity of having a dichotomy between registration and subscription.”

She continues, “We’re starting to hear a lot that the registration moment is really important because you are capturing information in your CRM about that person. You can think about the habits of individual people, and it gives you a lot more messaging options to try to drive those subscriptions.” 

The Telegraph has goals for both registered users and subscribers, at 10 million and 1 million respectively, knowing that known and authenticated users are more likely to purchase a subscription, or engage in other channels like email newsletters.

Admiral’s VRM can help here because it is designed to gather first-party and zero party data, as well as walk visitors directly to the next best step for them, offering registration walls, smaller signups, donation options, and paid subscription offers.

Various Ways to Capture Subscription Candidates

Conversion moments add up, according to Mercandante Nicholson, "We are thinking a lot now about those conversion moments, registration moment, the newsletter sign up, the saving of a preference, because we're starting to see that those are really important moments in a journey towards revenue."

By using an end-to-end visitor engagement platform, you learn more about visitor behavior and segments, you can identify likely converters, and use machine learning to continually improve the messaging and conversion options through each visitor journey.

Other examples Admiral has seen of connecting the dots can be found in visitors who give privcy consent leading to conversions, or visitors who turn off adblock being more engaged and more likely to take further conversions.

Subscriber Visits and Engagement Predictions Driven by More Visitor Data

It isn’t just about getting the subscription, though. You have to get your subscribers to come back to your site. How does this happen? By focusing on retention and engagement. Building brand loyalty is important because returning content subscribers tend to spend more time engaged with content, which is important to lower the churn rate.  

“The Financial Times came up with a multi-dimensional engagement score that looks at a reader's recency, frequency and volume," suggests the PressGazette.

The report also looked at site returns, frequency, and status as a paid, registered, or 'other' segment. Across all 670 sites in the study, 71% of paid subscribers visited at least every other day. Only 4% of the pageviews were by subscribers who were visiting just once a month.

In North America, 55% of subscribers visit a site at which they are registered at least every other day, whereas only 24% of non-subscribers visit a site at least every other day. 

chartbeat report subscriber studySource: Chartbeat report for Press Gazette

The author emphasizes, "The takeaway here is that the conversion moment is not the end of a user's journey with your site. There has to be as deep of focus on retention as there is on acquisition."

"The percentage of subscribers that is not actually visiting the site they subscribe to particularly often indicates a pretty big churn risk," suggests Mercadante Nicholson.

Admiral’s provides segmentation and targeting options, as well as reporting dashboards, to help publishers segment by key behaviors, frequency, and conversion events. Admiral criteria can include visitor pageviews, frequency, page url, subdomains, query parameters, custom cookie, device, and custom criteria.

Screenshot of Admiral app while setting targeting for a journey to drive new LinkedIn followers:



Find Out if VRM is a Fit for Your Website

Regardless of your current revenue priorities, Admiral’s Visitor Relationship Management (VRM) platform can drive engagement, visitor relationships, retention, and revenue. Popular outcomes the platform is built to deliver:

  • Grow paid subscriptions with paywall and sub management (including subscriber support)
  • Add social media followers
  • Drive email newsletter signups
  • Manage GDPR consent with the Admiral CMP module
  • Recover lost adblock revenue with Admiral's proprietary full-stack recovery
  • Drive app downloads, registration walls, and more

Want to know more? Schedule a demo with a VRM expert today.

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