Gannett says paywalls are generating strong revenue, despite circulation declines

News & Tech | PR Newswire | Gannett Blog
Gannett, the largest U.S. publisher with papers that have a combined weekday circulation of 4.9 million, says its digital subscription plan, paired with metered paywalls, is now active in 38 49 of the company's 80 community newspaper markets. Gannett executives provided updates in a presentation last week to the Media and Entertainment Analysts of New York. (Update: It was 38 as of the presentation but has since climbed to 49, according to News & Tech's list.)

Circulation volume is down 7 percent on weekdays and 5 percent on Sundays since the paywall rollout, Gannett Blog reports. Despite that drop, total circulation revenue is expected to increase by 25 percent by the end of 2013, community newspapers division President Bob Dickey says.

The digital subscription strategy is on pace to contribute $100 million of additional operating profit by the end of next year, Dickey said. Chief Digital Officer David Payne also said the company plans to re-launch all digital and mobile properties by that time.

Correction: This post originally mischaracterized the $100 million Gannett expects to gain from digital subscriptions in 2013 as "revenue." The company actually predicts that amount of "operating profit," which is revenue in excess of operating expenses but excluding any taxes or interest.

Related: Chicago Tribune launches redesigned website in advance of paywall (Tribune) || Earlier: Gannett’s poor 1st quarter results bode ill for newspapers in 2012 | All Gannett papers to get paywalls this year, except USA Today (Forbes)

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    Jeff Sonderman

    Jeff Sonderman is the deputy director of the American Press Institute, helping to lead its use of research, tools, events, and strategic insights to advance and sustain journalism.


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