5 APR 2019

10 recommendations for digital publishers on maximizing telco partnerships

POSTED UNDER Digital Goods Digital Publishing Direct Carrier Billing Mobile Marketing Payments Subscriptions White Paper
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Mattias Liivak

Head of Marketing & PR, Fortumo

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Today 50% of online content is consumed through mobile devices. In that light telco partnerships are an organic match for digital publishers to grow their user base and revenue. Yet most digital publishers have never partnered with telcos before. With something new on the table, this creates a great opportunity to review the publication’s overall monetization strategy. Based on 10 years of experience in helping game developers, app stores and streaming services monetize online content effectively, we recommend to think about the following:

  1. Pricing. Digital publishers do not compete just with other newspapers, but with other subscription-based digital services for entertainment. Compare your pricing with services including Netflix and Spotify and see how it matches up.
  2. Monetization models. Telco-based payments convert better than credit cards, so users are more likely to make payments in small sums. Individual articles can be sold to readers with microtransactions and later upsold to a subscription.
  3. Don’t dilute the offer. Having a constant discount price campaign available or asking less money for the first month of subscription creates an anchoring effect. The bigger the gap between the discount and the actual price of the service, the less likely users are to churn out.
  4. Resolve multiple trial and account abuse. Whether card or telco-based subscriptions, limit the amount of trials a reader can redeem to 1. In cases of clear usage of one license by multiple readers, adjust to the market and offer a “family” or “corporate” account to users at a discount.
  5. Assess payment performance in detail. Checkout flows data has to be reviewed end-to-end, not just looking at how many users go in and how many subscribers come out. Where does the drop-off happen? How can the step of the flow be improved? If a payment provider has lower payout but higher conversion, what is the impact on revenue?
  6. Don’t forget about payment failures. Track and analyze data on payment failures with each payment method. Before the user leaves the checkout flow due to technical issues, provide them with a detailed call to action on how to resolve the problem. “Oops, something went wrong, please try again” doesn’t count.
  7. Leave users alone. Consider if you need to remind users every time a charge is made about the transaction. For loyal, long-time subscribers, this is a constant reminder to reassess your value proposition and whether they should stick around.
  8. Utilize existing data. For telco-based payments, you can already use existing phone numbers from readers in their profile to simplify the checkout process.
  9. Monetize audiovisual content. Telco-based payments work great for microtransactions, which means you can A/B test small-sum payments for audiovisual content, such as sports broadcasts, audio interviews or video reports.
  10. Leverage telcos for marketing. Digital publishers have an attractive brand and provide new value to telco customers. When negotiating a partnership, ask what kind of marketing support the telco can give you.

Read more about the digital publishing scene and it’s monetization strategies from our recent white paper:

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