Why Publishers Need To Focus On Paywall Technology Over Ad Revenue

As uncertainty still looms nearly two years after the global pandemic started, readers around the world are continually turning to digital content. With print copies of publications being on the decline for a number of years, the Covid-19 situation has darkened the market universally making print media unsustainable long term. Moreover, ad sales have been on the decline as many companies have been feeling the pinch.  As a result publishers profit margins have declined so now it might be time to join the monetisation revolution adopting paywalls as an alternative source of revenue.

Paywalls may not be a new concept, but as a content publisher, investing in secure subscription technology that works, has been a saving ground for a multitude of companies seeing sustainability and growth. Making the transition and implementing intelligent paywall services may be the solution your business is looking for.

Publishers Fearing Change From The Ad Revenue Model

Prior to Covid, ad placements on publisher sites were slowly declining in sales. Readers were turning to social media outlets for news stories diverting away from traditional media publications. Print publications were losing advertisers at a rapid pace as they realised less and less people were reading paper copies of newspapers and magazines.

Now it's the norm for readers to consume content online on various devices as it allows them to get information rapidly, leaving the demand for print media drowning further in the depths, even converting the old-school traditionalists.

Even though the signs were there for declining ad sales, many publishers stuck to their guns, not introducing a paywall. Those who did not implement a subscription platform continued to ride the storm in the hope that the market would change and alternative sales funnels would appear.

Until recently the fear of losing readers by adopting a subscription model was not a risk worth taking by publishers. The value of paywalls was overlooked until Covid came and rocked the publishing world.

Online Publishers Feel The Effects of Covid

Ad spend plummeted as the world was hit by its first global pandemic in 100 years.  Even though content monetisation was an option, it took a pandemic to really bring paywall services to the forefront of publishers strategies, but for many publishers by then it was too late, many went out of business. 

Why Content Publishers Are No Longer Relying On Ad Revenue

Let's review the ad decline debacle pre and post covid.

One of the biggest factors driving ad sales away from publishers was the rise and dominance of advertising through social and search platforms such as Facebook and Google Ads. In 2019, Google made $120 billion from ad sales then rising to $147 billion in 2020. Advertisers realised that it was cost effective to advertise on social sites and search engines as this was attracting engagement and sales.

Media publishers who once thrived from ad revenue, were starting to bleed from the lost income to global social tech media giants creating a monopoly. Some of biggest publishers diversified and  introduced metered paywalls. Gradually publications such as the WSJ and New York Times started to see their investments paying off, creating sustainability and a much needed reoccurring revenue stream.   

Even with the increase in readership since 2020, there was another problem with ad spending. Advertisers no longer wanted their ads to appear near Covid articles . Considering most of the main headlines were Covid related, this became very difficult for publishers as advertisers were very strict  as they felt covid stories diverted readers away from their ads.

Paywall Technology The Future of Publishing

At Evolok, we have pioneered the subscription management market, creating tailored paywall solutions for some of the biggest publications in the world. Our ability to help organisations monetise content with the right technology and data has helped companies stay relevant and profitable. 

Whether you are a company who targets B2B or B2C, the need to monetise through subscriptions is key to moving forward for the future.

Contact Evolok today and find out how our solution can revolutionise your business, monetising your content effectively without have to rely on ads to keep your business going.


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