The Guardian newspaper Supporter Membership model

The Guardian supporter membership model
The Guardian supporter membership model

This is a neat idea from the Guardian with some clever language – instead of pushing more traditional subscription models, they are offering “Guardian supporter membership” for £5/ month.

Whilst competitors are pushing many more adverts over their well designed pages, or moving to a pure subscription model, the Guardian have sharpened their copywriting pencils (err, keyboards?) and produced a more enticing product offering – as shown here https://membership.theguardian.com/about/supporter?INTCMP=MEMBERSHIP_BANNER_TEST_A

When I say clever language, it’s phrases such as (I’ve applied additional emphasis on the keywords):

“Supporters keep our journalism fearless, open and free from interference.”

“Support open, independent journalism.”

“The Guardian publishes the stories that others keep hidden.

“We have become the most read, serious English-language newspaper in the world, visited by 120 million unique browsers each month. Our journalism is for everyone. The Guardian is open, without a paywall, and we remain true to our 200-year old progressive values.

Become a Supporter to ensure the whole picture is available to everyone.”

Content on the Guardian is top class – in depth content which, I agree with the comments above, are often the kinds of stuff which others shy away from (e.g. Snowden). And this must be the start of any monetisation campaign – the old adage of Content is King still rings true today.

It will be interesting to see whether this model works commercially at The Guardian; and whether other newspaper brands and groups start adopting the same model.

However, we still need to replicate a casual reader model – someone who buys a physical newspaper occasionally, but without committing to a monthly charge. I buy The Times and Sunday Times print editions a few times a month, but I don’t want to subscribe to them, whether it’s called a subscription or a sponsor membership model.

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