In 2020, Publishers Take Back Control With Subscription Success

The Rise of the Mature User

It's been a long and winding path, but in 2020 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, including 3.5 million digital subscriptions last fall.

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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Following their launch on RebelMouse in April 2020, Austonia is establishing itself as a great source of local news in Austin, Texas. Austonia combines its authentically Austin news with RebelMouse's cutting-edge platform to grow an audience of loyal subscribers.

The Vision

  • Exclusively Austin news
  • Truly local feel
  • Only promote local Austin advertisers
  • No programmatic ads
  • No paywalls to reach a larger audience
  • Led by a Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial advisor, with five full-time staff members
  • Build community through digital media
  • Easily optimize content across platforms in real time

Why They Chose RebelMouse

  • Sophisticated Entry Editor purpose-built for search, social, and emerging digital formats
  • Easily incorporate powerful features to drive engagement
  • Leveraged the RebelMouse Insights Dashboard and real-time analytics data to quickly act on viral hits
  • Track record and impressive client list
  • Trust established during the initial conversations

Austonia’s Three Months Later: Real Results

  • Articles ranked on social and search right from the start
  • After a great first 15 days following their April launch, the growth continued during the next 15-day period leading into May, where traffic grew by 80%
  • During their second 30-day period that ended in June, Austonia saw 12% more growth (no sophomore slump!)
  • By July, 30-day traffic grew by another 80%!
  • And most recently, August gave them another 70% boost in traffic
  • All together, the last 30 days saw 4x more traffic than their first 30 days
  • The growth continues in Q3!

Pageviews

Unique Visitors

April 2020–August 2020 via Google Analytics. Pageviews and User growth, both daily and a 42-day moving average.

And Stuff Like This Happens

When Austonia had the scoop on Joe Rogan moving to Austin, they used the power of RebelMouse to distribute the article across digital channels and maximize the viral impact.

The article started ranking on Google quickly, and as national media sites and social pages linked to their article, Austonia got close to almost 200,000 organic pageviews!

Why Austonia ❤️s RebelMouse

Built-in Modern Technology Integrations: With out-of-the-box compatibility with AMP, Facebook Instant Articles, and various other formats and feeds, Austonia was able to avoid an internal technical hire and still have constant technology upgrades to stay ahead of the curve.

Real Knowledge: Austonia considers RebelMouse to be more than just a tech company — it's best-in-class global expertise.

"When we chose RebelMouse, we did not yet fully appreciate what they offer beyond just technology. The best-in-class team is made up of really smart people from all over the world, working for major clients all over the world, and I benefited from that expertise and experience. As an independent local publisher, this was incredibly valuable and I have so much gratitude to RebelMouse for our success"

—Mark Dewey, Publisher and CEO of Austonia

Change Your Publishing Platform

Just like Austonia, all properties on our platform grow at mind-boggling rates, and are built in a way that allows publishers to focus on producing great content, which in turn becomes sustainable, high-growth social traffic and loyal, long-lasting communities. Customers like Austonia who trust their digital strategy to the experts in distributed content are able to compete with high-budget global news corporations and show up everywhere first!

Request a proposal today and let's start working together.

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