The pivot to paid is on for publishers. The days of relying solely on ad revenue are over. Now, it's back to basics, which means building a balanced revenue portfolio with a meaningful contribution from subscriptions and membership programs. Shifting to direct revenue brings with it many challenges, from crafting the right plan for your audience, to managing churn, to building a base of direct connections to convert, to deciding whether to emphasize access through a metered or paywall model or extra perks in a membership.

Digiday Hot Topic: Subscriptions & Memberships will explore all the major issues modern publishers are facing in developing this critical piece of their businesses.

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Speakers

  • Julia Beizer
    CHIEF PRODUCT OFFICER
    BLOOMBERG MEDIA
  • Henry Embleton
    VP, AD PRODUCTS & REVENUE
    ELLATION
  • Laura Evans
    SVP, DATA AND INSIGHTS
    THE NEW YORK TIMES
  • Amy Fitzgibbons
    CMO
    STITCHER
  • Emily Goligoski
    RESEARCH director
    MEMBERSHIP PUZZLE PROJECT
  • Emilie Harkin
    HEAD OF SUBSCRIPTIONS
    THE ATLANTIC
  • Mia Libby
    CRO
    The Daily Beast
  • Mather Lindsay
    CEO
    MATHER ECONOMICS
  • Siobhan O’Connor
    VP, EDITORIAL
    MEDIUM
  • Esfand Pourmand
    SVP, REVENUE
    HEARST NEWSPAPERS
  • Nushin Rashidian
    CO-FOUNDER
    CANNABIS WIRE
  • Geoff Schiller
    CRO, GLOBAL
    POPSUGAR
  • Jed Williams
    CIO
    LOCAL MEDIA ASSOCIATION

Agenda

Thursday, August 16

  • 8:30 a.m.
    Breakfast and Networking
  • 9:00 a.m.
    State of the Industry and the Digiday Fishbowl

    We'll review the top five trends impacting the industry right now, and attendees will submit their own challenges to the Digiday Fishbowl.

    • Max Willens

      PLATFORMS REPORTER

      DIGIDAY

  • 9:20 a.m.
    Content Worth Paying For?

    Siobhan O’Connor, vp of editorial at Medium, knows what compels her platform’s users to subscribe. Now she has to figure out how to make more of it.

    • Siobhan O’Connor

      VP, EDITORIAL

      MEDIUM

  • 9:40 a.m.
    A Personal Touch

    Personalization was once held up as a holy grail for publishers looking to grow their ad revenue. It might be more useful for subscription publishers. Hear from product heads about how how personalization helps with both.

    • Julia Beizer

      CHIEF PRODUCT OFFICER

      BLOOMBERG MEDIA

  • 10:00 a.m.
    Sponsor Session
  • 10:15 a.m.
    How -- and Why -- to Make a Shapeshifting Paywall

    Why build a hard paywall when you can make a personalized one? Hearst svp of revenue, Esfand Pourmand, explains why Hearst’s newspapers use a paywall that changes size and shape depending on who’s visiting.

    • Esfand Pourmand

      SVP, REVENUE

      HEARST NEWSPAPERS

  • 10:35 a.m.
    Networking Break
  • 10:50 a.m.
    A Tough Sell?

    Pivoting to paid sounds great...except to your head of sales. A discussion of how to balance the conflicting priorities of advertising and consumer revenue, and how to get an ad-supported operation on board with pursuing consumer revenue.

    • Mia Libby

      CRO

      The Daily Beast

    Moderator
    Max Willens
  • 11:10 a.m.
    How to Crack Customer Service

    Acquiring customers is great. Managing and appeasing them is difficult, time-consuming, expensive and unfamiliar. Here’s how to keep customers happy without overextending your staff.

  • 11:30 a.m.
    Rallying the Troops

    How do you tell your newsroom that the work they produce is about to reach a much smaller audience? Nushin Rashidian, the co-founder of Cannabis Wire and part of Civil’s first fleet of newsrooms, explains.

    • Nushin Rashidian

      CO-FOUNDER

      CANNABIS WIRE

    Moderator
    Max Willens
  • 11:50 a.m.
    The Kindness of Strangers

    How do you get people to donate to your organization? Hear about the ins and outs of donations from Emily Goligoski, the research director of the Membership Puzzle Project.

    • Emily Goligoski

      RESEARCH DIRECTOR

      MEMBERSHIP PUZZLE PROJECT

    Moderator
    Max Willens
  • 12:15 p.m.
    Lunch
  • 1:15 p.m.
    Small Town Success Stories

    Consumer revenue isn’t only an opportunity for household name publishers. Jed Williams, chief innovation officer of the Local Media Association, shares stories of smaller publishers pursuing consumer revenue successfully.

    • Jed Williams

      CIO

      LOCAL MEDIA ASSOCIATION

  • 1:35 p.m.
    Panel: What Role Do the Platforms Play?

    The platforms are the swimming pool that every ad-supported publisher plays in. But what role will they play for publishers hunting for subscription revenue? What role should they play?

    Moderator
    Max Willens
  • 2:00 p.m.
    A Different Proposition

    The economics and strategy of marketing an ad-supported product are completely different from the ones used on a subscription product. Hear how -- or if -- a publisher can pursue ad dollars and subscriptions at the same time.

    • Mather Lindsay

      CEO

      MATHER ECONOMICS

    Moderator
    Max Willens
  • 2:20 p.m.
    Show Me Your Funnel!

    Subscriptions are all about building a relationship and driving conversions. But there’s more than one way to build a funnel. We’ll gather up three different anonymous publisher conversion funnels and assess them. A group look at at three anonymous funnels and assess them.

  • 2:40 p.m.
    What's in the Box?

    What if you don’t want to sell content, but a product? Geoff Schiller, chief revenue officer of Popsugar, explains how Must Have, his subscription box, developed alongside the other sides of his business.

    • Geoff Schiller

      CRO, GLOBAL

      POPSUGAR

  • 3:00 p.m.
    Networking Break
  • 3:15 p.m.
    Town Hall

    Participants will meet to discuss the biggest challenges their organizations are facing, and work together to come up with potential solutions.

  • 3:45 p.m.
    There's an App For That?

    Getting people to download an app is hard. Amy Fitzgibbons, chief marketing officer of Stitcher, will discuss how she thinks through the problem of building an audience for an app.

    • Amy Fitzgibbons

      CMO

      STITCHER

    Moderator
    Max Willens
  • 4:05 p.m.
    What do your customers really want?

    A walk through how to gather, store and analyze the data that helps a publisher figure out what a customer wants, and how they tell you.

  • 4:25 p.m.
    Panel: What if Information Would Prefer to be Expensive?

    As more publishers pivot to consumer revenue, many ad-supported publishers have begun to wonder: What happens -- to the publishing ecosystem, to society -- if everything goes behind a paywall?

    Moderator
    Max Willens
  • 4:50 p.m.
    5 Things We've Learned

    We’ll summarize the event with the top themes that have emerged through a full day of content.

     

    • Max Willens

      PLATFORMS REPORTER

      DIGIDAY

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— Digital Ad Ops Manager, ESPN

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