local media insider

Best Paid Content Strategies

Best overall 2014 paid content strategy, Best Innovative Marketing, Best Digital Subscription Marketing Campaign, Best Paywall Takedown Program


Best Paid Content Strategy

Best overall 2014 paid content strategy

Company: Cox Enterprises

Market: Atlanta Journal Constitution - Atlanta, GA

Population: 5,522,942

Circulation: 231,094

Mark Medici

Key executive: Mark Medici, VP of Audience

Judges take: This company added extensive communications by email for customer relations and promotions of content, coordinated with the newroom, which re-organized in 2014 with a focus on audiences served.

A variety of 8 different e-mail newsletters drive audiences back to the news site, including a morning email with a 25 to 38% open rate and 25% click through and a similarly successful 4 p.m. version.

In the six months since launch has produce 305 Digital Extras - with sold sponsorships - and  traffic has surged: A 41% increase in daily visits and 75% increase in page views.

Best Innovative Marketing

Owner: Postmedia Network

Company: Ottawa Citizen

Market: Ottawa, Canada

Population: (metro) 1,236,324

Circulation: 113,859

Key executive: Craig Bernard, SVP Reader Sales & Service

Judges take: As paywall conversions mature, new approaches are required to advance sales. This Canadian newspaper is adding a lower price option: device-specific content packages sold separately at lower prices. First they researched audience preferences to match content with devices then created the new packages. “A new approach with great promise other U.S. papers are looking at it.”

Best Digital Subscription Marketing Campaign

Company: Lee Enterprises

Market: Quad-City Times, Davenport, IA

Population: 474,226

Joe Schaechter

Key executive: Joe Schaechter, Circulation Director

Judges take: With paywalls no longer “new,” paid content sales have flattened and marketers that know how to utilize the full suite of digital product to drive conversions are at a premium. Targeting and retargeting for subscription sales is increasingly common, but this promotion - with home page wallpaper ads promoting ticket giveaways to a concert - with your subscription purchase - added an incentive for younger people to buy in.

Best Paywall Takedown Program

Company: Amador Ledger Dispatch

Market: Amador Ledger Dispatch - Amador County, CA

Population: 38,091

Key executive: Matthew Hedger, Reporter/Web Editor 

What happens when the paywall isn’t working? In this case advertisers paid about $90,000 to “tear down the wall” in a social media enhanced program. Is this where Pandora got the idea to have advertisers pay for free trial periods?

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