Google: Subs Lab Europe


Jan 2021

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Google: Subs Lab Europe

A partnership with the Google News Initiative

An ambitious nine-month programme of discovery, strategy and implementation, partnering with the Google News Initiative to help eight European news publishers in 2020 grow their subscriptions businesses and increase their digital reader revenue. Our cohort included: The Independent, El Mundo, Kurier, Gazeta Wyborcza, Dennik, La Croix and RP Online.

The programme consisted of webinars from expert FT speakers, experiments, workshops and prototyping in which the cohort learnt how to grow, engage, convert and retain their readership online, as well as learn strategies for monetising their content. Areas of focus were customer discovery, analytics, experimentation and reader centricity.

After nine months, the publishers we worked with achieved:

  • x2 social click-through by promoting content based on a new article score
  • x10 daily registrations through new registration wall
  • -6.46 points of bounce rate on recommended articles thanks to new article score  
  • +45% in € generated per paywall view thanks to a paywall redesign
  • +10% conversion on the paywall by changing position of the roadblock on page
  • +25% conversion thanks to dynamic metering of the paywall (based on RFV)
  • 20% winback rate on a trial offer thanks to on-site targeting of lapsed subscribers

Key questions we helped answer:

  • How can I build a subscriptions business that generates a long-term sustainable digital revenue stream?
  • How can I build a digital-first newsroom and inspire the entire organisation?
  • How can I widen the acquisitions funnel to new reader segments and raise engagement levels?
  • How can I transform a volume-centric organisation into a reader-first organisation?
  • How can I use data in that transformation?

Eero Korhonen, Head of Strategic Partnerships, EMEA News Publishers at Google, said:

"Working with FT Strategies has been great and seamless. They have demonstrated their expertise in the field, and this is reflected in the excellent feedback we’ve received from participating publishers...We are looking forward to working closely with the team on projects in the future."

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