Público leverages Google News Consumer Insights to improve subscriptions
Success Story

Público leverages Google News Consumer Insights to improve subscriptions

Público improved their subscriptions by optimizing their registration and checkout flows through Google’s News Consumer Insights.

News organizations (“publishers”) face a myriad of challenges including, but not limited to, heightened inflation and the cost of operation, reduced interest from advertisers and a cost of living crisis that is threatening / softening subscriptions. Research conducted by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism in 2023, found that less than half (44%) of the editors, CEOs, and digital leaders sampled say they are confident about the year ahead, with around a fifth (19%) expressing low confidence.

These economic pressures and concerns coupled with rising levels of reader fatigue and news avoidance means that publishers must think carefully about the sustainability of their businesses, the importance of revenue diversification and the balancing of ads and subscription based business models, and their value proposition.

Striving to improve readership loyalty

To explore these critical areas, publishers constantly strive to acquire new audiences and engage their website users to improve readership loyalty. Not long ago, Google created a series of free insights tools to address such concerns, including News Consumer Insights (NCI). NCI identifies reader funnel optimization opportunities to increase profitability and build deeper relationships with readers. It provides insights and actionable recommendations based on your Google Analytics data to help grow reader engagement and revenue. By segmenting readers based on their value, it helps publishers understand their analytics data to better identify the actions that will drive sustainability.

Overview of the Google News Consumer Insights tool

More recently, Público, one of the largest news publications in Portugal, sought recommendations from Google to improve their subscription business and build a stronger first-party data foundation. Together with Google specialists, Público leveraged the NCI data tool and identified practical, actionable recommendations they could implement.

“With the growing challenge of attracting new audiences and monetizing them beyond ads, the News consumer Insights recommendations were key in helping us rethink our registration and subscriptions flows, and the changes brought amazing results.”

Bruno Valinhas, , Head of Analytics at Público

Facilitated website registration and collect first party data

Like other publishers, Público has premium content behind a paywall. NCI's suggestion was to give registered users access to a few more pages before asking them to subscribe. This gentle and inoffensive approach encourages loyalty with the users, increasing their emotional bond with the website whilst Público strengthens its first-party foundation.

Público leveraged Google Identity Solutions to implement the Google Sign-in button — an easy way to collect first-party data while allowing users to register in a frictionless way. This led to 144% a growth in average monthly registrations

Optimized the checkout flow and increased subscription conversion rates

NCI also suggested Público optimize the last steps of the subscription funnel. Their payment checkout flow now requires a lot less steps from users, allowing them to select common third-party payment options and easily complete the transaction. Such strategy was crucial to keep readers motivated to purchase, increasing their likelihood to complete transactions, which resulted in 18% growth in the number of subscribers in their students' subscription page.

The Results: +18% students subscription growth; +144% average monthly registrations

As part of our ‘publisher-first’ approach, we’re committed to supporting our partners and helping them make data-driven business decisions that increase profitability and build deeper relationships with their readers. We welcome participation from others who want to work together to grow their reader engagement and revenue.

Access the News Consumer Insights tool to get your personalized actionable recommendations.

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