How Publishers Are Maximizing Retention After the COVID-19 Subscription Surge

By Michael Silberman, SVP of Strategy

For many publishers, 2020 was a good year for subscriptions, and the trend has continued into 2021. For example, over the last month, The New York Times grew active news subscriptions by 48%, and Insider has doubled its subscriber base to just over 100,000 in the previous year. At Piano, our data shows even higher growth — a median increase in active subscribers of nearly 58% from the end of 2019 to the end of 2020. Much of that growth was driven by increased demand for news during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Coming out of this pandemic subscription surge, many publishers are focusing more on retention. Our data shows a boost in median retention rates in annual and monthly subscriptions acquired during the pandemic. And so, moving into 2021, what tactics should publishers focus on to maximize retention and minimize churn?

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