Skip to content Skip to footer

#30. Registration before subscription = higher LTV for this publisher

You're reading The Audiencers'  #30, sent out on January 24th, 2023.  To receive future newsletters straight to your inbox every two weeks, sign up here.

🌴 Just a little heads up, I'm actually on holiday atm so this newsletter was scheduled a while back and is coming from Madeleine of the past! Hopefully links all work ok and the information is still relevant! 

In today's newsletter: 

  • Paywalls, and premium products: analysis of 9 Spanish-language titles 
  • Save these dates! The confirmed Audiencers' Festivals to mark in your diary
  • Keep calm, carry on and launch a registration wall: The French publisher, Alternatives Economics, shares their experience on why a registration wall has changed the game for them
  • Value proposition inspiration: from The Atlantic, El Confidencial and Every 
  • Content to add to your reading list

Paywalls, pricing and premium products

Product visibility on the home page. Marking subscriber-only content with an icon. Paywall design. pricing… They're all essentials to master in your digital reader revenue model. 

This article looks at each of these points for 9 Spanish-language titles – La Vanguardia, El Expansion, El Universal, El Confidencial,, El Espectador, El Mundo, El Pais and El Nuevo Dia – to help you in comparison to your own model. 


  • 8 out of 9 titles have icons to mark premium content. El Expansion seems to have the highest percentage of subscriber-only content, likely because of its niche subject focus. elDiario is the only one that doesn't – instead they seem to have an engagement & registration strategy to increase propensity to subscribe. 
  • Other techniques used to increase premium product visibility include modules at the end of articles, banners and blocking comment sections
  • It was surprising how few had a strong value proposition on the paywall itself rather than simply “subscribe to continue reading”
  • Discounted prices were mainly on the annual offer, supporting high and LTV

Read the analysis in full on The Audiencers

Save these dates: The Audiencers' Festival is coming to a city near you

The confirmed dates of our first few TA Fests of 2024

🇪🇸 Madrid: 20th February, Espacio Bertelsmann -> Registration is open! Regístrese aquí 

🇺🇸 New York: 14th March, Building -> Registration here 

🇨🇦 Toronto: 22nd March, El Mocambo -> Registration here

Keep calm, carry on and launch a registration wall 

Freemium, free trial, metered, soft paywall, hard paywall, dynamic, hybrid… a whole world of possibilities, the combinations are almost infinite and it's no mean feat to find the paywall model for you.  

But for Frédéric Desiles of the French finance title, Alternatives Economiques, their answer has come in the form of a registration wall.  To get started with soft (i.e. blocking with a free-to-unlock wall), they launched a newsletter wall in 2019. The large number of email addresses collected proved to be a real catalyst in their subscription strategy development for over 2 years, going from 7,000 to 20,000 subscribers to their digital product. 

Today, with the end of third-party on the horizon, they've moved to a more developed value exchange that ensures a single reader ID for each user – registration.

What's interesting however is that they compared the performance of a registration model vs a harder paywall model with articles for subscribers only.

alter eco subs vs registration

(note the figures have been changed slightly but the ratios are the same)

What did this tell them?

They're 3.5x more likely to convert a reader to a subscriber if articles are reserved for subscribers only! 


  • The surplus in subscriptions represents only a small % of the total subscription flow
  • They barely got any registrations through this harder model
  • Despite higher conversion rates, this will actually lead to a future loss of income – albeit converting the reader into a subscriber a little later, the value of this reader in the long term is greater

In short – it's more valuable to their business model to let visitors discover content without requiring them to subscribe straight away. Not to mention the other benefits of registration, such as increased revenue from ads and first-party .

Dive into the full article on The Audiencers

Inspiring value proposition examples

The reason for working on your value proposition: 

  • Answering your What, How and Why
  • Clearly defining the value you will provide your readers and what makes you different from another publisher
  • To ensure all teams across the company are aligned on what your value is as a publication
  • Telling 
  • To put this to use in converting readers into members and subscribers

We have a whole benchmarking gallery on The Audiencers, but here's 3 more I found recently…

“Your boss reads this newsletter” – Every

Why should readers be interested? Placing a superior figure in this value proposition makes us feel like we should be reading the content to impress our boss, keep up with their work and achieve targets – i.e. appealing to our professional success goals, a ‘gain' of reading this newsletter.

“Stories that spark conversation, all year long” – The Atlantic

What makes this publication different? Christmas is often about spending time with loved ones, full of conversation. And everyone wants to have stories to share. But The Atlantic offers us this all year round – i.e. appealing to our human desire to bring exciting conversation.

“The Christmas gift that you can open every day of the year” – El Confidencial

What makes this different from others? Most gifts are just for Christmas so, in comparison, this gift has more value – i.e. higher perceived value of the product.

The Audiencers' newsletter: from professionals to professionals

Sign up to our newsletter – real-life examples, expert points of view and inspirations from around the world to help you do your job better. Sent every two weeks.