Throughout this most rubbish of years, the good news stories have almost all been about growth in subscriptions. And the latest numbers from The Guardian tell a cracking story. The newspaper group is reporting that subscriptions to the Guardian’s premium apps or tablet editions were up 60% year on year to 352,000 and the total number of paying supporters rose 43% to reach 900,000, up from 632,000 in November 2019. Breaking down sources of recurring payments, support for the Guardian includes:
- 352,000 digital subscriptions
- 548,000 recurring contributions
- 119,000 print subscriptions across (The Guardian, The Observer and Guardian Weekly)
Given The Guardian’s story was all about survival just a few years ago, and initial skepticism to its ‘Donor’ payment model, this is an incredible turnaround tale. Of course, there are still huge pressures around advertising sales, but all the more reason that their success in converting the scale delivered by their ‘open access’ principles into paying readers has to be applauded.
Staying with subscriptions, Press Gazette has put together a fascinating list of the world’s most popular subscription sites. The list of 24 titles is, of course, topped by the New York Times, but there are a few surprises further down the list. Can you guess where the Telegraph is relative to the LA Times? Or The Atlantic vs The Economist?
Who better to remind us how weird the media world has been in 2020 than the Drum’s Media reporter John McCarthy. In a list of media highs and lows that spans news, ad-tech, out-of-home, podcasts, TV and Baby Yoda, John’s big takeaway from 2020 is ‘Be helpful or prepare for the worst’. Truly words to live by.
Vice will be the first verified media publisher to launch on OnlyFans – best known for hosting subscriber-only sexy-times content. Vice will be charging fans $4.99 a month for exclusive videos from its Munchies channel. They’ll give viewers ‘a very intimate look at the sounds and transformations of different foods as they’re being mixed, cooked and prepared.’