Trend overview

As media companies struggle to compensate for declining print revenues through digital advertising sales, many are turning their focus to subscriptions.

Buoyed by consumers’ willingness to pay for quality content on platforms such as Netflix and Spotify – as well as the broader rise of the direct-to-consumer subscription business model – publishers including The New York Times, The Guardian and The Economist are rebalancing their business models with a greater emphasis on digital subscriptions.

With some predicting a decline in consumer exposure to advertising, the rise of the ‘subscription economy’ – a term coined by Tien Tzuo, an early employee of Salesforce and now chief executive of software firm Zuora – will have a major impact for brands requiring to reach mass audiences.