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Executive Report - By Thomas Baekdal - February 2023

Guide to magazines doing advertising behind a paywall

About a week ago, I was contacted by Sveriges Tidskrifter (the Swedish Magazine Publishers Association) who asked me a number of wonderful questions. The questions were all about: "How can magazines do advertising behind a paywall?"

The answer, of course, is a bit complicated. Now, if you are in Sweden, Sveriges Tidskrifter is going to publish a report about it, where I am one of the people they interviewed for it, but I wanted to dive into this a bit further.

So in this 30-page report, we are going to do a deep dive into answering these questions. Can magazine publishers mix advertising and subscriptions? If so, how? What kind of considerations do magazines need to make? Is there one model that works better than others? And more.

Advertising and magazines are a perfect mix. But...

The reason why this question is so complicated to answer is because it depends on what you are doing. By default (in a digital context) advertising is often seen as the enemy of subscriptions, and it's not surprising to see why when we look at how most advertising online works.

If you are doing the kind of advertising where you are annoying people to the point where many choose to install a privacy shield to prevent tracking and an ad blocker, mixing this with subscriptions is just going to lower your conversion rate, and make it much harder to get people to renew (aka, you get more churn).

But if we step back from that for a second, and consider the concept of it, then advertising and magazines are actually a pretty good fit. If we think about this from a brand perspective, what would sell the most?

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Baekdal is a magazine for media professionals, focusing on media analysis, trends, patterns, strategy, journalistic focus, and newsroom optimization. Since 2010, it has helped publishers in more than 40 countries, including big and small publishers like Condé Nast, Bonnier, Schibsted, NRC, and others, as well as companies like Google and Microsoft.

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Thomas Baekdal

Founder, media analyst, author, and publisher. Follow on Twitter

"Thomas Baekdal is one of Scandinavia's most sought-after experts in the digitization of media companies. He has made ​​himself known for his analysis of how digitization has changed the way we consume media."
Swedish business magazine, Resumé


—   monetization   —


Guide to magazines doing advertising behind a paywall


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In-depth media analysis: What should we do with media bundles?


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Why advertising and subscriptions are so hard to mix, but not impossible


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