Engaged reading digest: members-only apps, and the funnel is back

The Guardian launches a member-only app, people are discovering funnels a decade late, and HuffPo is on the auction block.

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth

Here's your irregularly scheduled digest of interesting links for people trying to develop engaged journalism and the business models to support it. Grab a coffee and dive in.

The Guardian adds a member-only app

This is an interesting approach. Don't make content exclusive, but make some ways of accessing it exclusive:

The draw of the new app is that it won’t carry ads and will offer a more streamlined news product. The new app lets users scroll horizontally through the paper’s sections, like national, world, culture, sports, and swipe right to read the stories within that section. For instance, on Oct. 15., the national section had 35 stories, the culture section had eight.

In that way, it's not online the print edition: you can read it for free online, or pay for it in your preferred format.

The Guardian launches subscriber-only, ad-free daily app - Digiday
The Guardian has released a daily app for paying subscribers, as part of its quest to reach 2 million financial supporters by 2022.

New project aims to get news organisations to finally pay attention to decade-old thinking

This is actually quite a depressing read. It's not that what the News Revenue Hub is doing is a bad idea — it's not — but it's an old idea. We were talking about funnel approaches to building customer habit and eventually subscriptions over a decade when I worked for RBI. That it's only edging towards the mainstream now, as we teeter on the third decade of the 21st century is an indictment of how slow we've been to adopt these ideas.  

The News Revenue Hub is launching a pilot project to help news orgs increase their readers’ loyalty
You can turn loyal readers into members and subscribers. But first, you have to turn occasional readers into loyal readers.

For sale: One HuffPo. Lightly used. No refunds. No time-wasters [£]

Verizon continues dismantling the media assets it acquired from Yahoo and AOL:

In recent weeks Verizon has raised a HuffPost sale with potential acquirers, according to two people familiar with the discussions. No formal sale process has been launched and talks remain at an early stage.

The question is: who has the money and appetite for a site that works at volume like this? Could it end up consolidated into one of the other big volume sites?

Verizon seeks buyer for HuffPost website
Telecoms group raises sale with potential acquirers as part of digital media retreat
engaged reading digestThe Guardianhuffington postbusiness modelsaudience engagementnews app

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Adam is a lecturer, trainer and writer. He's been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 30. He lectures on audience strategy and engagement at City, University of London.