Health care site STAT looks for more group subscriptions
Health care site STAT is looking to grow its group subscription business, reports Laura Hazard Owen of Nieman Journalism Lab.
Owen writes, “Nearly three years in, the audience for Stat — and its premium membership product, the $299/year (or $35/month) Stat Plus — is becoming more clear. It turns out, not surprisingly, that most of the people who want to read and pay for Stat Plus are professionals in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries. Stat is seeing substantial growth in group subscriptions, adding staff on the business side to handle them (while the size of its editorial staff has been roughly flat since launch). About half of the content on the site on any given day is free, but for the most part, the people who are interested in it already have some kind of professional connection to the health industry — and are either able to pay for Stat’s content individually, or work for a company that pays for it for them. Subscribers also get access to live events, webinars, and online chats.
“Stat wouldn’t share exactly how many paying subscribers it has, but Berke said the figure is in the thousands. ‘We are way ahead of our goal to get 10,000 subscriptions in the first three years — not meaning that we’re there yet, but that we’re way ahead of where we thought we’d be getting,’ he said. (Recall that while Stat is almost 3, Stat Plus is a year younger, so it still has some time to hit that 10K goal.) About 100 of those subscriptions are for groups. Stat’s revenue in 2017 was 70 percent advertising, 30 percent subscription; now, it’s 57 percent advertising, 43 percent subscription. About two-thirds of the subscriptions are annual commitments. ‘It’s nice to get the money up front for a business like this, and it shows a certain commitment,’ Berke said.
“The group subscriptions are for as few as six people to much larger companies, universities, government groups, and nonprofits. Angus Macaulay, Stat’s chief revenue officer, didn’t offer a pricing breakdown but said the larger licensing fees are in the range of thousands of dollars. Stat recently closed a deal with a German company that will provide a group subscription to 25,000 people. ‘We didn’t solicit them, they just came to us,’ Berke said. (About a quarter of Stat’s readership is international.)”
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