Digiday+ Research: A third of publishers never discount subscriptions

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This research is based on unique data collected from our proprietary audience of publisher, agency, brand and tech insiders. It’s available to Digiday+ members. More from the series →

In the face of an economic downturn and the flurry of the holiday season, holiday sales are rising to the top of both consumers’ and businesses’ minds — and even publishers’ subscriptions businesses aren’t immune.

Digiday+ Research surveyed 73 publisher professionals this month to find out more about how publishers are handling subscriptions, specifically when it comes to discounts leading up to the all-important holiday season.

Digiday’s survey found that publishers are fairly evenly split when it comes to bringing in revenue from subscriptions: Almost exactly a third of publisher pros each said they get a large portion of their revenue from subscriptions (34%), they get a small portion from subscriptions (32%) and none of their revenue comes from subscriptions (34%). All in all, two thirds of publishers get at least some of their revenue from subscriptions.

Of those publishers who do make money selling subscriptions, Digiday’s survey found that a full third never offer subscriptions at discounted prices. To be exact, thirty-two percent of publishers said their companies never discount their subscriptions.

Meanwhile, most of those who do offer subscription discounts do so throughout the year: Just shy of two-thirds of respondents to Digiday’s survey (62%) said they discount their subscriptions throughout the year.

And it turns out that subscription discounts are most decidedly not tied to the holiday season: Only 2% of publishers told Digiday that they only discount subscriptions during the holidays. And fewer than a quarter (21%) said they offer discounts throughout the year, with deeper discounts coming during the holiday season. In comparison, about twice that percentage (41%) said they offer discounts at similar rates regardless of the time of year.


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