Retaining subscribers: Key learnings from The Atlantic and MediaNews Group

2021-10-08. While retention is extremely important, it cannot be considered as an objective in itself says Louis Deering, Vice President of Digital Subscriptions of MediaNews Group, publisher of the San José Mercury News, Boston Herald, and The Denver Post.

by WAN-IFRA External Contributor | October 9, 2021

Deering and Emilie Harkin, Vice President of Consumption Strategy and Growth, from The Atlantic shared their experiences on Lifetime Value, retention strategy and the pyramid model during the Digital Media Latam conference organised by WAN-IFRA

As the media industry's future focuses more on revenue per reader as an economic model, subscriber retention becomes critical.

According to a recent Harvard Business Review study, acquiring a new customer is five to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one. It is key to keep customers interested and engaged, develop a more complete view of this relationship, and stop the churn before it occurs.

Deering said that while retention is extremely important, it cannot be considered as an objective in itself, because the objective "must be to develop a sustainable income model to support journalism that makes our communities are vibrant."

Retention rates or LTV (lifetime value), Deering said, "are not always aligned with revenue growth. And the objective really is that: that the income increases."

For example, a strategy focused on avoiding an increase in the cancellation rate at all costs "can discourage price increases, and sometimes you have to raise prices. We have raised prices, and it has not had a negative impact. If prices are raised correctly, total income increases. It is true that it is necessary to increase moderately, but by doing so, the business is growing steadily," he said.
Accumulated income

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WAN-IFRA External Contributor

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