Times

The Sun on customer service and life behind the paywall

The Sun ducked behind a paywall in August 2013, so now feels like a good time to find out how it’s all been going at Sun+

Beverley Mcintyre is Director of Member Services and Support at News UK. I was glad to catch up with her about customer service behind the paywall, as well as some other interesting aspects of the business, namely advertising and changes to the organisation as a whole.

For more on publishing, check out the Econsultancy Native Advertising report or these posts on publishing.

How can publishers promote subscriber loyalty?

Running a profitable publishing business online is no easy task, and success has a lot to do with retaining subscribers. 

One way of achieving this is through loyalty programmes, which provide extra value for subscribers, and can even make them valuable advocates for the brand. 

I’ve been asking Nina Gilbert, Account Director at Clock, about the strategies publishers can use to keep customers loyal and reduce subscriber churn…

Daily Telegraph trumps The WSJ, Times and Boston Globe in usability study

The Daily Telegraph has come out on top in a report that examined the UX of newspaper paywalls.

Also included in the survey were the Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times and The Boston Globe. 

The report follows Qubit’s website analysis framework, which looks at elements of the purchase journey, personalisation and mobile.

This involves more than 80 criteria based on both the newspaper industry specifically and general best practice for websites.

As mentioned, the Telegraph came out on top overall with 72%, followed by the WSJ (69%) and FT (66%). The Times achieved the lowest score with just 56%.

Is The Telegraph’s metered paywall a good idea?

Yesterday, the Telegraph announced the introduction of  a ‘metered paywall’ which allows visitors to read up to 20 articles before having to subscribe for more.

There are two options: a ‘web pack’ which allows access to the website and content via apps at £1.99 per month, and a ‘digital pack’ which adds tablet access and loyalty club membership at £9.99 per month. 

But can a paywall ever be a good idea for a general news site like The Telegraph though? And how will it affect the newspaper in terms of SEO and traffic to its ecommerce pages? 

Paywall problems: London Times’ free registration page deters readers

Media companies are experimenting with new business models all over the web. But this month, The London Times learned that even just asking for registration details can pretty steeply shrink audience numbers. According to Hitwise, The Times’ registration page — for the paper’s free content — dropped its market share by half. 

For publishers looking for more than just an email address from readers, there is reason to be wary.

Q&A: Pluck’s Stephanie Himoff on social media for publishers

Pluck provides social media platforms for brands and publishers, including News International, The Guardian, and Trinity Mirror.

I’ve been talking to Stephanie Himoff, who directs Pluck’s European sales, about the company’s social media tools, and how publishers can use UGC to drive traffic and increase engagement…

Murdoch CAN charge for content online, but can anyone else?

Commentators have queued up to tell Rupert Murdoch that his plan to
charge for online content is wrong. But I think it’s obvious that he
can charge.

Murdoch’s got the will to charge, access to value-add content, and has
a lot of experience selling subscription products in the UK. The question is not whether he can charge – it’s whether his competitors can match his content and experience.

What does the Telegraph do better than the Guardian or the Times?

Many of the big newspapers have launched sites specifically for mobile users, Graham Charlton has recently reviewed several of them here.  But are duplicate sites really the way to go?  How do you work out what to include?  Above all, what happens if after all your efforts a mobile user decides to access your standard site and gets a poor user experience there?

System Concepts has just tested the mobile and standard sites of three quality newspapers:The Times, The Telegraph and The Guardian when accessed using a mobile phone.  Our results clearly highlighted some of the issues brand owners face in deciding their mobile strategy.