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The Content Monetization Conversion Funnel

Mar 29, 2016
Analytics

This is another article from Piano’s Lead Data Scientist Roman Gavuliak written last year and re-posted here for the edification of our faithful readers. To read all of Roman’s articles please click here.

Everyone knows that almost all news is freely available, even community news that had been previously monopolized by the local paper. That said, there are still a lot of people who are willing to pay for your news. Why? Because you have built your brand and gained the trust of your community based on your judgment in hiring reporters who care about reporting the local news well, covering local teams properly and having an editorial voice that speaks to the range of issues your readers care about.

After initial growth though, digital subscriptions seem to stagnate; our data shows that almost 40% of publications experience flat or declining digital subscriber rates. The question is why and what to do about it? It is important to examine and understand the impediments loyal customers have when converting from print into digital subscribers. Only after understanding and correcting these will subscriptions start to grow and recurring revenue flow. Keep reading

Data-driven product pricing for digital subscriptions

Mar 23, 2016
Analytics

This is another article from Piano’s Lead Data Scientist Roman Gavuliak written last year and re-posted here for the edification of our faithful readers. To read all of Roman’s articles please click here.

Digital pricing is not usually coupled to the cost of production. In fact, digital pricing, like that of luxury brands, is based upon perceived value. Why would people pay for the New York Times online when news and information is freely available on the Internet? Because people believe when they purchase a NYT subscription they are getting a better product, with unique, distinctive content plus they value the paper’s editorial curation. So how does this apply to online publishers who are not the New York Times?

Two words: Quality Content

Keep reading

Three Thoughts on Publishing Frequency

Mar 15, 2016
Analytics

This is another article from Piano’s Lead Data Scientist Roman Gavuliak written last year and re-posted here for the edification of our faithful readers. To read all of Roman’s articles please click here.

Recently Colin Morrisson, a media and marketing consultant, published an article on his blog, Flashes & Flames, that got us thinking. Among other things he talks about is the fact that the Times of London is considering publishing articles on an edition schedule rather than “as it happens.” This is not terribly unusual, he points out that network TV faced the same conundrum when it first went on the air, inventing the morning, noon and evening news programs. In fact, many news sites still publish their articles in batches in morning & noon or morning & evening cycles. But there is another approach that newspapers and especially magazines are considering. We have already entertained requests from publishers to help them sell content in issues rather than time- or meter-based. This looks like publishers are thinking about print rather than about the digital audience they now serve. While we can not provide a definitive answer to which approach is better, here are a few thoughts on what we’ve seen in the data so far related to this topic. Keep reading

Lessons in Paid Content IV: Making sense out of it all

Mar 01, 2016
Analytics

This is another in a series of articles from Piano’s Lead Data Scientist Roman Gavuliak that were written last year and are being re-posted here for the edification of our faithful readers.

Lessons in Paid Content I: Not all content is created equal
Lessons in Paid Content II: The size of your audience
Lessons in Paid Content III: Don’t just slap a meter on it
To read all of Roman’s articles please click here.

Throughout this series, there have been a lot of numbers and graphs illustrating particular examples that might be more or less relatable. The understanding is that as a publisher, you do not always have the capacity to carry out all these calculations and some data sources might not be available to you. Most probably you lack a database needed to benchmark against other publishers / titles. What you can do, though, is compare different content segments of your site against each other. Here is a simple framework of how to think about your content:

loyalty_and_consumption
The graph depicts content segmented into two dimensions – loyalty and content consumption. Niche content with a small yet loyal audience is more suited for a hard paywall; flagship content that has high user traffic that remains loyal would do well under a metered paywall. Content with lots of traffic consisting of one-time visitors – search engine and social media traffic – is a space that can be commodified; it’s ideal for advertising. Content with no traffic and no loyalty, “thrash,” is obviously something you do not want on your site. Keep reading

Editorial Analytics: news organizations embracing analytics and metrics, but most have far to go

Feb 29, 2016
Analytics

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News organizations are increasingly embracing the use of analytics and metrics as part of editorial decision making, but what constitutes a sophisticated analytics strategy? And why are so many media organizations still using such a rudimentary approach to analytics?

A new report by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism looks at which organizations are building a competitive advantage over less advanced competitors through a better understanding of their audience, and what lessons others can take from their approaches.

Piano believes that analytics are one of the ways that publishers can more effectively engage with their audiences, segmenting users into cohorts and checking messaging efficacy with sophisticated multivariate testing. To learn more about our software, please check out our VX product page.

If you wish to read the entire report, you can download it.