Media trends: Consumers say they prefer ads over paywalls

by | Feb 6, 2020 | Public Relations

Consumers now understand that “free” content comes at a cost, and they’re willing to pay it with their eyeballs and data if it means getting a more personalized experience. New research from audience engagement and monetization partner for publishers PowerInbox shows online media consumers overwhelming prefer ad-supported content from publishers over subscription paywalls.

According to the firm’s latest survey, 82 percent of consumers say they’d rather see ads in exchange for content instead of paying for a subscription—but with one caveat: nearly half say they want those ads to be personalized to their interests and online behavior. That means publishers must prioritize advertiser relevancy in order to deliver content that entices online subscribers to click: Two-thirds say relevancy and trust in the publisher are key drivers of advertising click-through.

But that can be difficult in an environment where consumers are growing increasingly skeptical of how companies collect and use their data

This puts the onus on publishers to find new ways to connect with audiences over channels they trust and have already used to build an existing relationship, like email.

PowerInbox CEO Jeff Kupietzky says publishers can leverage that one-to-one relationship with email subscribers across other channels to reinforce engagement. By adopting a multi-channel messaging strategy that enables publishers to optimize, personalize and automate subscriber messaging, publishers can deliver the highly targeted, relevant content subscribers expect to drive revenue with minimal effort.

“Publishers are in trouble: they’re losing revenue and traffic to the likes of Facebook and Google, and they need solutions that can help them regain control of their audience relationships and generate new revenue,” Kupietzky said, in a news release. “Our data shows that publishers have a tremendous opportunity to leverage a multi-channel strategy over channels that consumers already trust to drive engagement and monetization.”

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Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 12 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at; @BulldogReporter


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