Paywall Extensions – How publishers turn casual readers into loyal customers
Not all readers are the same. A realization that many publishers are making right at their paywall. This is where the wheat is separated from the chaff: up to 95 percent of readers leave the website again as soon as they encounter a paywall. They are casual readers for whom a subscription is not an option. The reasons for this are diverse. What casual readers have in common is that they are almost impossible to monetize with a pure paywall subscription approach. But how does that happen? Isn’t it worth it to the readers to pay for the content?
High bounce rate at the paywall? Subscription fatigue and lack of customer centricity as the cause
A study by the Reuters Institute found that readers are subject to a certain subscription fatigue and are only willing to subscribe to a maximum of one newspaper. After all, most already have a music streaming subscription as well as a video streaming subscription. Who is willing and able to pay triple-digit amounts for media subscriptions every month? The user behavior also contrasts strongly with the offer. Many read from a variety of sources, as they come across certain articles on social media or become aware of an article via search. Up to now, publishers have found it difficult to make these readers an adequate offer. One solution to this problem is the integration of a paywall extension. This means an offer that goes beyond the pure subscription offer and enables casual readers to consume premium content without directly subscribe. A few publishers offer micropayments as a subscription alternative. However, this has not prevailed. Instead, non-publisher providers are making use of the individual sale of publisher content on their platforms. However, this is also contrary to the actual user behavior. Because having to open an app every time in order to then buy an item represents a media disruption that is not very user-friendly. Direct solutions from publishers would be better. However, so far these are rare and not widely available.
The Snaque Playwall as a solution
Another paywall extension option is offered by Snaque with its Playwall. With the paywall widget of the same name, publishers now have the opportunity to offer their casual readers premium content without a subscription. This is made possible by the counter-financing provided by brands that sponsor the so-called snaque bars. To activate an article, readers simply have to answer a few questions via a snaque bar that opens direct at the paywall, interact with the brand and can thus also access paywall content. The publisher thus has the opportunity to monetize casual readers, convince them of their offer and turn them into loyal customers in the long term. Either as loyal casual readers who keep generating revenue through the paywall extension, or as loyal customers who decide to become subscribers after consuming initially counter-funded premium content.