How The Guardian’s reader revenue strategy is paying big dividends

2022-06-02. The Guardian is now more than 200 years old, but the past 10 years have proven to be among the most exciting in its history. One of the biggest changes for the UK-based global news publisher has been the move to a reader contribution revenue model that launched in late 2015 and has been enormously successful.

by Brian Veseling | June 2, 2022

"From 2015 until now, we have had a complete transformation in our finances. The Guardian in 2015 lost 85 million pounds (approximately 100 million euros), and we are now making profit. So from minus 85 million to profit as a result of this reader revenue strategy," Richard Furness, Managing Director of Consumer Revenues & Publishing for Guardian News & Media, told participants at WAN-IFRA's Digital Media Europe conference in Oslo, Norway.

And it's not just the positive financial change, but also where that reader revenue is coming from, which is now all over the world.
Most contributions coming from outside the UK
"This isn’t readership, this is support. Not surprising I think for a brand that’s had a 200 year heritage in the UK, 77 percent of our supporters were in the UK," Furness said of the period of late 2015 / early 2016.

Fast forward to today, and more than 60 percent of The Guardian's support now comes from outside the UK, literally all over the planet, including two people who support them in the Antarctic, "which we are very proud of," he said.

There are now more than 1 million supporters, he said, including 419,000 digital supporters.

There are 585,000 people who are members or recurring contributors, and 475,000 people who have made a one-off donation in the past 12 months. A further 114,000 people subscribe to The Guardian's print products, he said.

"The reader revenue strategy has been utterly, utterly transformative for us from top to ...

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