Local News Publishers: Subscriptions v. Memberships v. Donations – Paywall Podcast

The Question of Revenue

Should your publication be seeking subscriptions, encouraging donations, or offering memberships? The three main revenue models are a hot topic in the publishing world at the moment.

The simple answer? All three.

Episode 8 of the Paywall Podcast is a roundtable discussion between ZEEN101’s Pete Ericson, Jeremy Green, and Tyler Channell on how local publishers (and, really, all publishers) should gather their revenue.

The Highlights

The key takeaways include:

  • Quick definitions and examples of transactional subscription sales, mission-based charitable donations, and premium-plus membership access.
  • Don’t limit yourself to one type of revenue: set up all three. Giving people more ways to contribute to your coffers is never going to hurt you.
  • As a local publication, you have a mission beyond providing local information to interested parties; you are supporting and creating a community.
  • Don’t be afraid to aggressively share not only your mission, but your revenue sources with your audience. The public may not realize that their contributions are what keep you going.
  • The many, many reasons to start your sales funnel with an easy-to-set-up free registration level.
  • A quick look at the easy ways you can customize your reader outreach by subscription level.
  • An introduction to Subtext, which allows readers to interact with your journalists (and creates a rich source of extra content along the way).
  • Take a look at the tactics used by national players. They can likely be scaled down to serve your publication as well.
  • Your end-goal is always to build an enduring, long-term relationship with your readers.
  • Bonus sneak peeks: customizing content and the pay-per-post add-on.

It’s a quick episode — just under 30 minutes — but packed full of actionable tips and great ideas for every kind of publisher.

Did you miss an episode?

Our past episodes answer common publisher questions, provide explanations on making the most of your paywall, show off how other unique publishers have found success, profile the growth of a successful publication, and provide a wealth of tactics for growing your subscriptions:

Stay tuned for the next episode of the Paywall Podcast, available on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, and Pandora.

Learn how Leaky Paywall can help grow your subscription revenue