Subscription publishers are targeting people between 18 and 24 years old, adapting content, tone, marketing and accessibility of their products to that audience to foster the habit of subscribing.
Before The Telegraph launched its premium product in 2016, when it put 20 percent of its content behind a paywall, it targeted an audience over 35. Now, the publisher said the fastest-growing subscriber segment is between 18 and 34 years old. This is partly due to its app, which was redesigned when the paywall launched with a younger audience in mind, according to Robert Bridge, chief customer officer at The Telegraph. According to Bridge, the app drives the highest conversion rate of readers to subscribers.
“Media companies are concerned about their age profile across print and digital. The fear is young people aren’t going to grow into the tradition of subscribing,” said Nic Newman, editor of the Reuters Institute Digital News Report. “There’s a huge battle at the quality end of the market and an intense push for the same people. Everyone is aware of how important that [18-24-year-old] group of the next leaders is. The difficulty is the intense competition in the market and the price points.”
While a common misconception in the industry that people in the 18- to 24-year-old age bracket won’t pay for content, particularly news, data from the Reuters Institute Digital News Report from October found that the proportion of people willing to pay across age groups is flat. Although paying for online news is still rare, 3 percent of people in the U.K. paid for news in the last year, and 54 percent say the reason for not paying for news is because they can get it for free elsewhere, according to Reuters.