To succeed in paid content, it is essential to reward those who convert visitors to paid subscribers.
The most significant currency today is attention. The individuals who gain an audience’s attention and can effectively engage them with content are indispensable to a media company—and now, to general marketers, too.
As media companies migrate their “open” digital platforms behind paywalls, it is essential that they hold onto and reward those uniquely talented professionals who can convert free visitors into paying subscribers. This isn’t a proposal to compromise the quality of content in any way, i.e., to move the focus from the needs of a particular audience to sensationalized offerings. Instead, it presents the opportunity to adjust editors’ compensation plans to better align with the digital age.
A talented content producer can easily set up their own website, conferences and communities based on their reputation and understanding of an audience. Consider the YouTubers that are making millions based on weekly postings that gain high viewership. The barriers to entry have been reduced and the tools required to make this move are almost free. This is a publisher’s biggest risk, but also an opportunity to win in this continually evolving communication space.
For years, salespeoples’ performance has been measured—and compensated—based on sponsor and advertiser sales. Promotions within media companies have been based on consistent, ad-based revenue growth. The more revenue brought in, the more income.