Readers are pruning the number of digital publications they subscribe to, according to a new study by Toolkits and National Research Group.
Of consumers polled, 29% plan to reduce the number of online subscriptions they hold by the end of the year, 16% significantly so. However, 27% expect to add to the number, and 44% will maintain their totals.
But 53% have cancelled at least one digital subscription during the first half of the year, while 19% have never eliminated one. The main reasons for quitting a subscription are price increases and poor product quality.
In a hopeful sign for publishers, 53% of readers feel more loyalty toward publications they pay for, versus 31% who say the same about those offering freebies. Moreover, 44% readers with 5+ subscriptions plan to increase their number, as do 30% of those with 2-5. In contrast, only 14% of those with 1 subscription foresee an increase.
The target for publishers will be the 63% of consumers who have never held a digital subscription.
Publishers should be flexible, offering temporary price reductions, access to shorter subscription terms and other rates designed to drive longer commitments, the study notes.
Toolkits and National Research Group surveyed 2,509 U.S. consumers in August 2022.