Name: Julian Thorne, Chief Customer Officer, responsible for Dennis’ Global Customer Revenues including subscription revenues.
What’s going on at Dennis right now?
Like many magazine publishers we are seeing continued growth in our print subscription business especially with titles such as The Week and MoneyWeek which are undoubtedly benefiting from the increased appetite for news curation and financial information.
The Week Junior has been our standout performer* as it helps parents solve the problem of inspiring and engaging curious kids and at the same time not becoming too addicted to screens. Our latest The Week Junior subscription campaign which includes a free download designed to improve children’s health and wellbeing is working particularly well.
We are experimenting with a registration strategy on some of our websites for some of our content and are very encouraged by the early data on conversion to paid subscription content in print and digital format. There is a clear correlation between content engagement and conversion and given magazine publisher’s passion for creating engaging content we are excited about what this means for our future digital subscription revenues.
What is the value to advertisers of these loyal, engaged customers?
We know from anecdotal evidence from our call centre staff that our subscribers more than ever value the arrival of our print magazines through the letter box. This trusting, emotional connection with our brands translates incredibly well from the doorstep to digital domain too, with heightened engagement across both. Advertisers looking to connect regularly with highly engaged consumers in a relaxed frame of mind in their own homes should certainly consider advertising in magazines with high subscription bases.
There is no doubt that magazine subscriptions have benefited from a pandemic bounce. However, in the scrabble to respond to heightened consumer demand for magazine subscriptions, subscription marketers have learnt an enormous amount about how to scale effective digital marketing techniques in particular and this learning will not be forgotten once the pandemic is over.
For publishers like Dennis with pre pandemic high subscription revenues and expertise the pandemic has been good for business but like all publishers we recognise the importance of diversified revenue streams. What the pandemic has emphasised is the importance of direct customer relationships through both print and digital channels without intermediaries. The stronger those relationships become the easier it becomes to sell other products and services to those customers along with the subsequent data insights and data driven products that our commercial partners crave.
Which magazines are helping to distract you / your family at the moment?
In our house The Week Junior is a big hit (obviously) as is Match of the Day magazine (we have three boys) which has a great puzzle section to test any football fans knowledge young or old. History Today is my personal treat as it is just brilliantly written.
Share a useful lockdown tip:
The Week has regular recommendations on what to stream which is where I first heard of ‘Lupin’ the new hit Netflix series. It is brilliantly done and great escapist fun which we all need right now. Well worth a watch.