Wednesday 19th June: Online news subscriptions stagnate

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A shout-out for our friends at The Audiencers who are coming back to London on a leg of their world tour (mad/brave/brilliant women…) They’ve got a brilliant workshop dedicated to retention-minded acquisition this Thursday 20th then a great line-up of speakers from around the world for the festival itself on Friday. Check out the agenda here.

More good stuff from Press Gazette on this year’s Digital News Report. Charlotte Tobitt is highlighting that the average proportion of people paying for online news last grew in 2021 amid the Covid-19 pandemic. For four years in a row the proportion of people willing to pay for news has been flat at 17%.

Depressingly, almost 60% of survey respondents say they would not consider paying anything for online news. The reports says: “Publishers have already signed up many of those prepared to pay… but amid a cost-of-living crisis, it is proving difficult to persuade most of the public to do the same.”

In the UK, just 8% of people said they had paid for online news in the past year - down from 9% last year. This puts the UK last among 20 key "richer" markets in terms of propensity to pay for online news. The UK also had the highest proportion of people saying they would not be willing to pay anything for online news - 69% compared with 65% last year. Maybe the BBC is just that good!!!

Do monthly subscribers have value for you? How should publishers approach measuring value? Join the conversation on our community forum.

Already a big hit on TikTok, with over 9 million followers on its main account and about 1 billion monthly views, the Daily Mail is planning to go into long-form video. The paper has 20 shows in development, with a dozen set to premiere by the end of the year, according Tony Manfred, global head of video at Daily Mail. The 20-minute shows will focus on popular verticals - entertainment, news, sports, true crime and the Royals - and sit on The Mail’s main YouTube channel.

Did you hear the one about the advertising creative and generative AI? No? Don’t worry, it wasn’t funny. And that’s exactly why Cannes Lions has introduced a ‘humour’ category to its annual advertising awards. Execs say it will help highlight the importance of “the human element in advertising, with AI seen as struggling to create funny advertising campaigns that combine creativity with irreverence and silliness.” Silliness will save us all😜😜😜

Another newsletter another ‘Yay! Print!’ story. This one’s from the New York Times and focuses on a bundle of excellent outdoor titles. I genuinely love seeing mainstream outlets reporting the brilliant work that is going on in print magazine publishing. But I also want to say, ‘Where the hell have you been? This has been happening for years.’ Obviously I won’t, but I want to.

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