In 2021, Publishers Take Back Control With Subscription Success

The Rise of the Mature User

It's been a long and winding path, but in 2021 the subscription model continues its upward trajectory as a top revenue strategy for publishers of all sizes. The tug of war between platforms and publishers reached its peak in the last few years of the previous decade, leaving users desperate for a modern user experience that's clear of any clutter from the duopoly. This is why intelligent paywall models are a top choice for users looking to consume content right from the source. When done correctly, the strategy can work for any type of media. The New York Times, a frequent showpiece example of the power of paywalls, is constantly reporting record-busting subscription numbers, with 5.7 million digital subscriptions last year.

And it all makes perfect sense. The subscription model eliminates the middleman — such as the platforms — so readers get the experience and content they want, and publishers get the cash they need.

RebelMouse's Subscription Features

As a creative agency powered by modern technology, we know how to build a subscription experience that's designed for both the modern user who wants an optimized site experience and the modern publisher who relies on paywall revenue to survive.

RebelMouse's subscription features are customizable and easily support:

  • Free Trials: Create one-day, weekly, or monthly subscription plans.
  • Coupon Codes: Use promotional codes to give access to strategic partners and complement B2B deals.
  • B2B Subscriptions: Use email matching to sell access to companies.
  • Testing Powered by Data: We have a sophisticated suite of A/B testing tools — complete with Google Analytics integrations — that give you the ability to test what works, what doesn't, and how to better cater to your readers' needs.

RebelMouse's Paywall API is available to developers to make it easy to manage subscriptions. Access to paid content is managed via subscriptions attached to email qualifiers. Click here for more information on our Paywall API.

The Success of Our Subscription Model

Sites powered by RebelMouse are experiencing enormous success thanks to our subscription strategies, including the Italian newspaper La Verità. While publishers on other platforms typically see a decrease in audience when they implement a paywall, in their first year leveraging the RebelMouse paywall strategy, La Verità saw 800% audience growth with an average of 16 pages per visitor, far above the industry standard. Their continued, unprecedented growth makes them one of the highest-growth media properties in Italy, and they've experienced significant revenue growth thanks to our paywall tools.

Is a Subscription Model Right for You?

In the past, there was a stigma around paywalls that signaled they were only sustainable for large publishers with massive audiences already in place. But with today's users maturing, subscription models are more attainable for a variety of emerging media properties and legacy names alike.

It's important to strike the right balance between free content, subscriber revenue, and ad strategy. This is a lot to juggle for publishers who are already maxed out trying to create quality content worth reading.

At RebelMouse, we can help you determine if a subscription model will benefit you, and then build a custom, easy-to-use paywall system that works for your site. If you're not publishing on RebelMouse, we also operate as a world-class creative agency that can help you navigate the subscription business and any other content strategy you may be building toward. Either way, request a proposal today and let's start working together.

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