OLD Media Moves

What’s behind Business Insider’s subscription strategy

July 1, 2021

Posted by Chris Roush

Jacob Granger of Journalism.co.uk examined the subscription strategy of Business Insider.

Granger writes, “The news publisher does have a distinctly decluttered look to its articles. More than that though, Oran says reporters are encouraged to be ‘edgy’ and tell stories as if ‘they are explaining something to a friend at a bar.’

“Jargon is a turn off, and part of the subscription’s appeal is that no-nonsense approach. It now has around 100k paying digital subscribers since setting it up in 2017, costing $50/year with ads or $80/year without. You can get a taster in the form of a $1, one month trial, just like Bloomberg.

“Similarly, there are also student ($29/month) and teacher ($49/year) tiers. Unlike Bloomberg, it offers bulk subscriptions for groups, and the option to “gift” subscriptions to people as well, like the New York Times has started to do.

“‘To build a successful model, you need to lead with editorial content,’ added Oran. That is emphasised in the messaging to ‘become an Insider.’

“In the next few years, Insider aims for its revenue to be split in even thirds between subscriptions, commerce and advertising – but that is not yet the case as 90 per cent of stories are still free under its freemium model. Oran claims there is not enough return readership to start experimenting with a dynamic model: just 7 per cent of readers hit the fifth and final free article.”

Read more here.


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