Technology Top Stories
2 mins read

Motor Sport Magazine’s Zamir Walimohamed on making subscriptions work

On this week’s episode of the podcast, we take a deep dive into the subscription trends of the past year. To get insight from someone who’s had experience in subscription management, we spoke to Zamir Walimohamed, Head of Digital, Marketing & Subscriptions at Motor Sport Magazine.

Zamir has been playing a pivotal role in driving Motor Sport Magazine’s digital expansion and marketing initiatives for 12 years now, during which time he’s seen trends come, go, and stay.

Zamir tells us about how the magazine has managed bringing print subscribers into its digital ecosystem, and why a growing propensity to pay for digital subscriptions is benefiting magazines across the industry. He also discusses the extent to which off-the-shelf subscription management tools are fit for purpose, and where the smart money is being spent on improving retention.

A selected highlight from the episode:
Changes in the technology which powers subscriptions…

“[The technology] space has changed quite a lot. In fact, it’s pretty impressive now that you have a number of cloud-based subscription platforms that align basically with best practices that allow customers to pay via a number of proprietary payment methods, whether it be Apple Pay, PayPal, direct debits, they’re able to tailor different offers to customers, depending on where they are, on preference of geographical locations.”

“So a perfect example for me would be, somebody in the US is presented with just a digital-only subscription, the price is displayed in US dollars, and it eliminates the delivery address because it’s a digital product. And that for me is it’s amazing because 10 years ago, that didn’t exist.”

“You can take it off the shelf. But I think the difficulty that a lot of publishers have is the legacy infrastructure that we have in place. A lot of this software is plug and play, anyone new starting up has a broad range of options available to them that just makes sense for them to just go in that direction. But someone like Motor Sport or any other kind of old-school publishers out there, we’re built differently. We’ve got a lot of old processes that in order for us to unplug subscriptions, it’s not as easy as plug and play, we got to unplug 10 different things before we could plug in the new system.

“But I don’t think it’s a case of publishers not believing in the technology because some of the large publishing companies have already done this, they’re taking advantage of some very powerful software that’s out there. But I do believe over time, a lot more publishers will be taking advantage of this.”

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