Digital Publishing: Ads Over Paywalls, Please

Photo by Joshua Earle for Unsplash.

A new survey shows that consumers of online media overwhelming prefer ad-supported content from publishers over subscription paywalls.

This revelation proves that consumers understand that content that is free comes at a cost, and they’re willing to pay it with their eyeballs and data if it means getting a more personalized experience.

According to a survey soon to be released by PowerInbox, an innovation leader in e-mail monetization, real-time personalization and dynamic subscriber engagement, 82 percent of consumers say they’d prefer to see ads in exchange for content rather than paying for a subscription. But there’s a caveat: nearly half say they want those ads to be personalized to their interests and online behavior. That means publishers must prioritize advertiser relevancy in order to deliver content that entices online subscribers to click. Two-thirds say relevancy and trust in the publisher are key drivers of advertising clickthrough.

This can be difficult in an environment where consumers are growing increasingly skeptical of how companies collect and use their data. That puts the onus on publishers to find new ways to connect with audiences over channels they trust and have already used to build an existing relationship, like e-mail.

Publishers can leverage that one-to-one relationship with e-mail subscribers across other channels to reinforce engagement, says PowerInbox CEO Jeff Kupietzky. He says that by adopting a multi-channel messaging strategy that enables publishers to optimize, personalize and automate subscriber messaging, publishers can deliver the highly targeted, relevant content subscribers expect to drive revenue with minimal effort.

“Publishers are in trouble: they’re losing revenue and traffic to the likes of Facebook and Google, and they need solutions that can help them regain control of their audience relationships and generate new revenue,” says Kupietzky. “Our data shows that publishers have a tremendous opportunity to leverage a multi-channel strategy over channels that consumers already trust to drive engagement and monetization, putting the power back into the hands of publishers.” ◊

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