REPORT: Segmenting news subscribers by mindsets

Picture: Macro Ten Dollar Bill by Eli Christman, license CC BY 2.0, adjusted light

Identifying news subscriber personas gives publishers a new way of thinking about their audience, writes Tran Ha, of American Press Institute, in a new report. As a part of their Media Insight Project, the institute conducted in-depth interviews with 15 people who represent different extremes in news subscription behavior. Based on these interviews, the authors identified three news subscriber personas or “archetypes”:

  • “Civically Committed”, who support missions and initiatives that reflect their personal values and commit to a higher-than-average number of subscriptions;
  • “Thrifty Transactors”; who pay for practical value but are highly selective about which publications make the cut and;
  • “Elusive Engagers”, who are generally subscription-averse and view news and information as a commodity that’s easily obtained for free.

“There is not one revenue strategy or funnel that can apply to an entire audience”, the authors note. Segmenting news subscribers by mindsets as opposed to demographics or modes of consumption gives publishers are a different way of thinking about acquiring users.

The report also highlights six other insights related to how people think about subscribing: subscription fatigue, influence of family, standing out, local news, sensivity to reader feedback and bias and modes of consumption.

The report “The 3 types of news subscribers” is freely available on the American Press Institute website.

Picture: Macro Ten Dollar Bill by Eli Christman, license CC BY 2.0, adjusted light

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