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Digiday publishing summit europe - key takeaways

Viktor Nikolov - Business Development | 11 March 2020 | Read time: 5 minutes
Topics | Paywalls, subscription model, dynamic paywall

At the beginning of March, Zephr was a headline sponsor at the Digiday Media Summit Europe, held in Croatia. We’ve been helping media brands to build subscriptions and recurring revenue relationships with readers since 2017, so we were delighted to sponsor this deep dive into the science behind acquiring and retaining digital subscribers. 

We sent a team of specialists and account executives to Dubrovnik to engage with the continent’s biggest media brands - to understand their needs and to explore the new frontiers of customer journey orchestration as well as the best ways to establish first-party data relationships with prospects and customers. 

As ever, this event brought together a fantastic group of brands and vendors from the publishing world. A few big themes emerged this year and one of the biggest was the impending “3rd party cookie apocalypse”, with publishers intent on coming up with new ways to diversify revenues to ensure they can optimise metrics such at customer lifetime value and ARPU. Ever since Google’s announcement that it will phase out 3rd party cookies in Chrome, there has been a buzz about what is going to happen next and how publishers can defend their existing revenue. It was a hot topic - and here are our key takeaways.

3rd party cookie apocalypse - what next?

There doesn’t seem to be a silver bullet just yet - however, one thing that was made very clear was the fact that it is crucial for publications and brands to deploy immediate measures to move consumers and prospects from unknown to known. Essentially, building a 1st party data relationship with their users in much the same way that e-commerce brands have been doing for the past few years.

Subscription vs advertising revenue

All the data indicates that subscription economy is flourishing right now. But for publishers moving to a subscription model, there is a need to weigh up the opportunity cost of the subscription strategies against their existing advertising-led monetisation strategy. Nearly all of the publishers we spoke to at the event acknowledged that the balancing of these two revenue streams was key to their future profitability. Equally, there were many discussions around finding the perfect monetisation mix and how adopting a test-learn-iterate culture would be increasingly important when it came to maximising customer lifetime value.

Personalisation is the future

One size does not fit all. The final big takeaway from the event was that tailoring the customer experience and personalisation of user journeys would be an important factor going forwards. The process of moving consumers from unknown to known, and the new techniques associated with progressive profiling, mentioned above, is not necessarily linear and templated. Different people respond to different stimuli and so a data-driven understanding of the various triggers, journeys and touchpoints is needed to maximize subscription and conversion events. 


Well, we could, of course, give you a full-on sales pitch here, but TBH we would rather you contact us for a demo and see what we do for real - and how we do it better than our competitors. With that in mind, we will say only this: Zephr is the only code-free multi-site customer journey orchestration software that collects granular 1st party data and has an easy to use drag-and-drop UI for custom journey building. This means non-technical marketers can use it as well as business strategists and product managers, thus removing the need for developer intervention and saving organisations time and money. Isn’t that the kind of instrument of change we’re all after when it comes to building the perfect subscriber strategy?

If you want to read what others have said about the same thing, check Full Digiday Article and  Jessica Barrett, FT Blog


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