World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers

Keys for an audience-centric business model

World News Publishing Focus

World News Publishing Focus
Your Guide to the Changing Media Landscape

Keys for an audience-centric business model

Once the decision of charging for the online content is made, there are basic things to decide, such as what will the price be. How to calculate it? Is there a magic equation? How to attract, retain and manage the base of paying digital subscribers?

Ben Jern, general manager of Tonton (Media Prima Berhad), Malaysia’s leading Over-The-Top (OTT) service provider, explained that when Tonton first came with the VIP model last year “there was not much of calculation of business: we looked at players in the industry who had paved the way.”

He thinks that while there isn’t a “exact formula” to stipulate the most adequate price, his company dedicated a lot of time on deciding strategies to pamper the VIP clients: “Tonton VIP membership gives a whole selection of services: VIP experiences, like free concerts –and popcorns- all over the country.”

In summary: a tempting –and succesful- offer of simple perks to make those who pay feel special.

The mathematician Shawn de Weese, vice president of Mather Economics (USA), a global consulting firm that helps publishers to develop and implement pricing strategies and maximize operating margins, has a probably more scientific view.

The company advices the price after an in-depth analysis of the publication’s online page views and digital audience to make sure “that you are not overpricing, but we see most publishers do is undervaluing your product and your brand. And you are leaving money on the table,” he said.

Each suscriber’s price is analyzed at key points in their life cycle, while weekly and monthly reports compare actual revenue and cash flows to predictions for test and control groups.

A thorough method that has been implemented at more than 600 newspapers. “Print subscribers are more tolerant with changes, but with digital you have to be very, very careful,” said de Weese. 


Paloma Almoguera


2017-04-19 17:05

Author information

© 2018 WAN-IFRA - World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers

Footer Navigation