It’s been a rough year for media companies, and 2019 has barely started. Layoffs at BuzzFeed, Verizon Media and Gannett have underscored that traditionally successful media organizations – even in the modern digital age – are having a hard time making ends meet in an era when readers expect everything for free.

It’s become increasingly apparent that to survive, media companies will need to create enough value that audiences will pay for it through a paywall or subscription. This means boosting the quality of the content and trying not to be all things to all readers.

Creating Quality Niche Content

“To be successful in the future, publishers should still create the niche content that draws audiences – for which they might even pay a subscription fee,” wrote Sarah Sluis for AdExchanger. “But publishers must find new and creative ways to monetize those passionate audiences, to entice brands to connect with them and complement their platform advertising.”

Offering free content in competition with platforms such as Facebook and Google is a losing strategy. Likewise, offering generic, poorly prepared content under a paywall is also a losing strategy.

Companies with media aspirations need to identify their potential super-users, produce high-quality content aimed at those readers and then induce them to pay for it. At a recent AdExchanger media event, Bloomberg CEO Justin Smith called it a “radical resizing and rethinking, and reality acceptance process” and noted that companies “have to deal with the realities of 2019.”

A Sturdy Subscription Platform

Content isn’t the only challenge, however. Most media companies don’t have a solid foundation in place for creating a paywall. Software-as-a-service-based solutions such as the offerings we provide to clients can help media companies and others build a custom process that precisely matched their business model.

“To run a successful subscription-based web site, you need the right subscription billing and membership tools and the right team,” according to Subscription DNA. “[Our] clients range from small businesses to large ventures serving remote software, educational enrollment to video delivery, digital and print publications, e-learning, medical programs and more including both retail bricks/mortar establishments and online web applications.”

The solution enables not only payment collection and reporting, but subscriber communications and marketing, group email notifications and membership management. Contact us today to get started!