How Spain’s El Confidencial gained 30k subscribers in a year

2021-10-14. El Confidencial, one of the biggest pure digital news players in Spain, started charging readers for its content only recently, in 2020. While it may seem a little late to publishers in other parts of the world, reader revenue and digital subscriptions have only become a major topic of conversation in Spain in the past couple of years.

by Elizabeth Shilpa | October 14, 2021

Since launching their paid content model in May 2020, El Confidencial has garnered an impressive 30,000 active subscribers as of September 2021. This feat was achieved by constant experimenting, testing multiple variants of branding, optimising the offer and keeping it dynamic.

“We are known in Spain for having a strong focus on innovation and product development. Using an agile framework we deliver more value to our users,” said Jose A. Navas, Product Owner, El Confidencial, during WAN-IFRA’s recent Digital Media Europe conference.

El Confidencial was founded in 2001 and today has 20 million unique visitors each month. Until a few years ago, the bulk of its revenue, about 90 percent, came from advertising.

It now follows a hybrid approach consisting of a freemium model and a dynamic paywall that works based on the propensity of the reader to subscribe. Thanks to the new strategies, El Confidencial saw an additional growth of 60 percent in 2021 alone.

For the publisher, this has essentially been driven by its optimisation team, which Navas calls “the most innovative thing inside El Confidencial.”

The team, with its goal of improving subscriber acquisition and retention, helps to convert more users into subscribers by personalised offers. 

“It is a team of people with very different skills. We have UX people, product management people, data analysts, a developer, one person from the newsroom and also one person from customer support,” he said.

“This multi-...

Keen to read more? This content is exclusively available to our WAN-IFRA Members. If you believe your company is already a member, or you'd like to join in a personal capacity, please contact If you're a media journalist please reach out to

Share via
Copy link