Trump Bump boosting subscriptions at financial publications
Call it the Trump Bump.
It’s a new phrase being coined in media circles to describe the boost in subscriptions due to the volatile stock market brought on by a period of politicial uncertainty.
When the economy is down, subscriptions are up. To put it plainly, it seems people want to know what is going on.
Bloomberg, which has had a paywall for just 18 months, recorded its highest month for driving subscribers in August, helping it on its way to double overall subscriptions this year. The Financial Times sees peaks in subscriber acquisition in times of uncertainty like Brexit. Again this August, one U.K. news publisher, who requested anonymity, had its highest month for driving subscribers in 20 years.
It seems bad news, or at least uncertain news, in the stock market is good news for financial publications.
“For us, the market coverage is driving a lot of [subscriber growth]. Volatility — like we’re seeing in the financial markets — is a good thing for us,” said Scott Havens, global head of digital and media distribution at Bloomberg Media. “Markets are up and down, a recession could be coming. It’s the volatility: It’s up two per cent one day, then the Dow drops 500 points the next and people respond.”
According to Digiday, there are two distinct camps of subscription publishers: those who fear a recession will hamper disposable income and have a negative impact on subscriptions and those who believe it will drive conversions as consumers are looking to trusted sources for reliable information.
“Premium and trusted news sources, particularly those providing content and insight on the financial markets, will likely benefit from a recession,” said Greg Harwood, senior director at strategy and marketing consultant Simon-Kucher & Partners, in Digiday. “In times of uncertainty consumers typically look for impartial and trusted advice on matters related to the economy. This will impact both acquisition and retention, exactly as the new providers saw in the run-up to the Trump election.”
“We often see increases in subscribers during periods of uncertainty — Brexit and Trump are good examples — but we also see peaks on specific stories, such as Lionel Barber’s recent interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin,” said Fiona Spooner, global marketing director for business to consumer at the Financial Times.