Newsletter 10th of February: Digital Newspaper Growth Challenged by Newsletter Services?
10 February 2021
Digital newspaper subscriptions have seen steady growth, with the uptick in news consumption spurred by the pandemic. However, the industry is battling high churn levels – retention will be the name of the game 2021.
Mediavision’s Q4 analysis of the Swedish newspaper industry reveals strong figures for the digital side of the news business. Churn intention for digital newspapers amounted to 10%, while it is almost the double for print – approx. 20%. This is a clear shift, as churn for print used to be lower than for digital up until Q3 2020. Why is this?
One explanation is the high – and increasing – price for print subscriptions. Mediavision’s analysis shows that a print subscriber paid on average +20% in Q4 2020 compared to Q4 2019 – up from SEK 220 to SEK 270 on average per month. For digital subscriptions, spend remains stable or even with a tendency to decrease.
As we all know, the advertising market is severely hit by the pandemic – which once again underlines the importance of subscription revenues. A newly released report by Reuter’s reveals that driving growth of digital subscriptions was rated “important” or “very important” by 76% of the survey respondents within the industry. This is ahead of both display and native advertising – as late as 2018 the order of prioritization was reversed according to the same source, which clearly demonstrates the growing importance of subscription revenues.
Advertising revenues will likely continue to decline as share of total revenues. Consequently, this means an upgrade of subscription revenues. The attention on “click bates”, generating broad audiences and building CPMs may be a thing of the past – the new focus might be to increase subscriber engagement with the content through several measures.
And ”engagement” is actually what the new trend of newsletters is all about. For example, American start-up Substack that provides creators with an easy tool to distribute newsletters, has gained momentum in the past year. The number of paid subscriptions on Substack have now surpassed 500’ and the top writers make more than USD 1 million annually. Several well-known American journalists have abandoned their regular jobs to start newsletters, prompting the thought: Is this the future of journalism? Global actors have shown interest in newsletter services as well – Twitter acquired Revue last week and rumour has it that Facebook is working on a newsletter services on their own. We know that people are willing to pay for high quality journalism, but does that necessarily mean spending money on a subscription to a traditional newspaper? Perhaps not – newsletter subscriptions might be the new kid on the block.
Viaplay Hits 3 million Subscribers Target
In Q4, Viaplay added 207’ new subscribers – resulting in a 33% growth YOY. This means that the service attained its target of 3 million subscribers for 2020. In 2021, Viaplay expects to add 650’ additional subscribers.
Bookbeat Surpassed 400’ Subs in 2020
In 2020, paying subscribers for Bookbeat rose by 65% compared to 2019, amounting to 421’ end of year. Revenues for 2020 amounted to SEK 508 million, an increase of 63% YOY. ARPU (excluding taxes) amounted to SEK 125 per user and month.
NENT Secures Baltic Top Football Rights
Ahead of the Viaplay launch in the Baltics on March 9th, NENT Group has secured a comprehensive rights package, including English Cup football and South American national team football to be exclusively distributed on Viaplay.
Amazon Planning for Swedish TV-Production?
Following the launch of Amazon.se last autumn, Amazon seems to be considering production of local TV series or movies in Sweden – the company is currently searching for a senior development manager for its Stockholm office.
C More Acquires Asian Football Rights
In a deal reaching until 2024, C More has acquired the Swedish and Finnish rights to Asian football, encompassing club- and national teams tournaments including the qualifiers to the World Championships in Qatar and Champions League.
Mediavision in the News
Netflix meets its match in Nordic minnow Nent
Propelled by the pandemic, the number of subscribers to internet video services in western Europe last year overtook pay-TV customers for the first time. Yet European media companies are not celebrating this milestone.
Streaming records for Sweden
According to Mediavision, the covid-19 pandemic has had “substantial effects” on the state of the streaming market in the Nordic country and that it has “accelerated the digital transformation.”
Swedish streaming market records 2020 record
Viewing to Swedish streaming services scaled new heights in 2020, according to the Stockholm-based Mediavision consultancy.
Swedish VoD penetration reaches 70% in Q4, up 10 percentage points year on year
Use of streaming services in Sweden increased substantially in 2020, despite a slowdown in growth in the first quarter, according to consultancy Mediavision.
Netflix nådde en ny milstolpe med 200 miljoner abonnenter
Kombinera hitserier som The Queen’s Gambit och Tiger King med ett år av självisolering, så får du ett vinnande koncept. Netflix publicerade i veckan sina siffror för det fjärde kvartalet och kunde rapportera att de nått en ny milstolpe.
Spotifys stora skifte: ”Behövde en ny story”
Spotify har hittills lagt över 8 miljarder kronor på att bli världsledande på poddar i bolagets största strategibyte sedan starten. Varför vill den svenska tech-jätten få dig att lyssna på annat än musik?
MWC Shanghai: 23-25 February 2021, Shanghai, China
Berlinale Series Market: 1-5 March 2021, Online
Berlinale European Film Market: 1-5 March, Online
CTAM Europe Executive Management Programme: 6-11 June 2021, Fontainebleau, France
NEM—New Europe Market: 7-10 June 2021, Dubrovnik, Croatia
MWC Barcelona: 28 June – 1 July 2021, Barcelona, Spain
Série Series: 30 June-2 July 2021, Fontainebleau, France
Cannes Series: 9-14 October 2021, Cannes, France
MIP TV: 12-14 April 2021, Online
MIPCOM: 11-14 October, Cannes, France
*Mediavision will attend
**Mediavision will present