23 JUL 2019

What if online newspaper payments were simpler?

POSTED UNDER Digital Publishing Direct Carrier Billing Payments Subscriptions
image of Mattias Liivak

Mattias Liivak

Head of Marketing & PR, Fortumo

image for What if online newspaper payments were simpler?

Today there are 2x more people globally paying for gaming subscriptions, 6x more for music and 15x for video streaming as compared to people paying for newspaper subscriptions. Why do digital publishers struggle to convert their readers into paying customers compared to other digital segments?

The choice of payment methods and checkout flow optimization are a key part of improving conversion. Here are 4 questions to ask yourself when figuring out how to get more users to subscribe.

What if readers didn’t need to fill out form fields to get a subscription?

90% of digital publishers say simpler user flows are their key focus. Seattle Times recently reduced the amount of form fields readers needed to fill out to subscribe from 24 to 9. This increased their conversion by 35%. But what would the conversion rate be if the number of form fields down to zero?

Carrier billing allows to achieve this, by requiring only the user’s phone number to complete the payment:

What if everyone had their payment information memorized?

Do you remember your credit card number by heart? The CVC code? Your ZIP code?

These things get asked during the checkout process by most publishers. More people are today reading news on mobile devices than desktop devices. This means not only do they need to find out what these numbers are, they also need to punch them in on a tiny smartphone screen.

With carrier billing payments, every reader already has the only number that they need to know memorized; their phone number:

What if publishers used the same payment strategy as other digital segments?

The vast majority of publishers today rely on credit cards for subscriptions, with some also using PayPal. What are Apple, Google, Spotify and Netflix doing? They all use carrier billing.

What if you have readers don’t want use their credit card?

Some of your users have a credit card, but they have never chosen to pay: either because there are too many form fields, they don’t have their card at hand, or they are afraid their personal data will get stolen. How do we know that?

In Sweden, one of the markets with the biggest news subscription rates in Europe, Schibsted launched carrier billing through Fortumo. Sweden has extremely high credit card ownership, so what happened after the launch? Carrier billing brought a 20% increase in subscriptions.

If these questions have you wondering whether it’s worth testing out a new approach to payments, check out what PayRead has to offer to digital publishers. Or simply get in touch.

Revenue calculator
Do the math: how much would your revenue increase with carrier billing?
Revenue calculator preview image

Content categories