‘Churn and burn’: Publishers are prioritizing subscription volume over immediate revenue

Like a lot of media trends spinning out of the pandemic and disconnecting legacy business norms with new in-market realities, there is a widening gap between the volume of publishers’ overall subscription numbers and the revenue that follows. And in that gap lies a cruel contradiction – growth twinned with downsizing. Subscriber numbers have spiked across media companies but, coupled with a crash in other revenue lines, that’s still left robust subscription publishers vulnerable. Dennis Publishing said two-thirds of company revenue comes from subscriptions but plans to cut 15% (60 people) of its workforce. The Atlantic grew 90,000 new subscribers since March but had to cut 17% (68 people) from editorial, live events and marketing. The Economist Group, which has 1.

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