Pueblo PULP: from print ad revenue to flexible digital monetization
The diminishing print ad business and shifting readership trends not only force publishers to pivot into the digital world, but increasingly into a reader supported business model. Publishers like Pueblo PULP are making strides to adapt their offerings and find solutions that fit the changing needs of their audience to build a sustainable content monetization strategy online.
Flexing the funnel
LaterPay has made its mission to empower publishers like Pueblo PULP to revamp their business models by allowing them to monetize digital content in a flexible way.
Although subscriptions are the ultimate goal for most publishers, there’s a large universe (60%) of visitors who simply will never subscribe, but still value quality content. Smaller publications don’t have the volume that affords larger publishers to serve up subscription paywalls and only generate direct revenue from a small percentage (often 2% or less) of their massive reach.
Offering timed access or a-la-carte articles helps generate revenue from casual readers –– not comfortable yet with a recurring subscription. LaterPay eases readers into paying for content by lowering the commitment, and builds value towards subscription conversions. The “pay later” feature makes the transaction very easy for the reader and grants them immediate access to content without having to register and pay in advance. The reader is asked to register and pay when their tab reaches a $5 threshold. The ‘pay later’ offer on single articles has double the repurchase rate over “pay now”.
Presenting readers with different purchase options, ranging from a single article to a yearly subscription, offering them the possibility to donate with a frictionless payment experience, and giving them quick access to content they value are all parts of the flexible digital monetization strategy that Pueblo PULP is successfully implementing with the help of LaterPay.
”Going with LaterPay allows us to transition to a digital daily with a frictionless system for our audience - something we have wanted to do for a long time but didn't have the right partner for,” explained The Pulp’s publisher John Rodriguez.
Introducing a flexible range of offers on top of subscriptions
Pueblo Pulp together with LaterPay, launched a flexible monetization approach, allowing readers to support the publication and pay for the content they value in the way that is most appropriate to them. Presenting their readers with a variety of options made it possible for the publication to grow their reader base, boost their engagement, and further their reach.
Several options for accessing content were offered to readers, ranging from purchasing a single article, to a yearly subscription.
The flexibility of the model has proven to be successful for The PULP since their launch. Readers have followed through by accessing qualitative content on local issues they care about, and supporting the publication at the same time.
“LaterPay has worked with us to offer our readers the freedom to choose their PULP experience, and the response has been eye-opening. From yearly and monthly subscriptions, to weekly passes, single article purchases and contributions, LaterPay allows us to offer our readers a variety of content consumption options that they are widely receptive to,” said John Rodriguez. “In our first week of promoting subscriptions to our audience, we saw more transactions than ad revenue -- system that failed for us“ he added.
Pueblo PULP added a contributions plea to their website with the LaterPay Contributions Button, allowing their loyal readers to voluntarily support the publication financially so they remain 100% independent. Branding itself ‘The Last Local’, the publication chose an open yet subtle approach asking for donations from its readers to help keep the production of quality journalism on local issues close to their readers’ interests.
“In Southern Colorado, the PULP is the last locally-owned major news outlet in the area and we're on a mission to save local news in Colorado. Our audience doesn't want more advertisements on their screens but they do want more local content and we are excited that we can fund more local journalism,” explained John Rodriguez.
Majority of payments made to Pueblo PULP come from a combination of contributions and single article purchases.
And, although most of their revenue comes from annual subscriptions, The PULP generates 10% incremental revenue from readers not willing to subscribe. We expect the incremental revenue to increase over time as more users’ tabs reach the $5 threshold.
Based on network-wide data from other publishers we also expect about 16% of paying readers to convert into subscribers over time.
Pueblo PULP is now focusing on accelerating their content creation to fuel single article and subscription sales.
Tech support, implementation and optimization
LaterPay assisted Pueblo PULP with the technology integration supporting the publisher, John Rodriguez in every step of the development and testing of the LaterPay implementation.
Pueblo PULP received actionable advice and incorporated LaterPay’s insights into launching a new website, defining a pricing strategy, and translating it into a smooth pitch for its products.
The result: a user-friendly website, and a dedicated mobile version, that makes the reader’s experience browsing, paying-for and reading content easy and enjoyable. After implementing these optimization measures, The PULP experienced a 6X lift to revenue generated on their website.
Publisher John Rodriguez expanded: “A majority of our users read us on their phones, LaterPay allows our audience a way to read our content, support our journalism all without the frustration of other content systems.” He added: “We chose LaterPay because it was the most innovative system out of the dozen we looked at. LaterPay allows us to offer memberships, donations and a freemium model - no other content monetization system offers this type of flexibility for our audience.”