Publishers pivoting to reader revenues is no less than a revolution. And while our daily news consumption is heading towards conversations in small groups with trusted voices, we believe memberships can be the way to fulfill both needs. Publishers need to build a loyal reader base and readers need to feel like they’re part of a community, hearing an intimate, trusted voice.
It is The Newscene’s raison d’être to make it simple for media to build its membership program on a robust CMS which works without having to write a single line of code.
Your community. Your words. Your terms.
Membership made simple
For inspiration, we looked at publishers who are successfully building a membership-like model, like De Correspondent, The Athletic or Business of Fashion. We want those looking to take a similar path to not need to cobble together an array of tools that weren’t designed for membership.
The Newscene is designed to encourage countless more publishers to create their own variations on those model.
We want to provide an alternative to having to mix your own: MailChimp to send the newsletter; WordPress to host the sign-up page and non-newsletter content; a membership plugin or service like Patreon to keep track of subscriptions; a payment portal such as PayPal or Stripe and an application platform like Heroku to link them.
The product roadmap
Our product roadmap will cover the following:
A robust back-end and CMS. The New York Times stack is our favorite benchmark
Tools for research. Pre-data about the market, the audiences, and more
User experience tools. Elegant design & the finest layouts.
Tools conversion. Statistics, metered paywall, data analysis, etc.
Tools for retention and unsubscription.
“Readers who arrive on Monocle content via social networks channels are promiscuous and don’t deliver anything to our bottom line”Andrew Tuck, Editor, Monocle
Not to ride the wave of platform resigning hype but we believe it’s time for publishers to prioritize owned social efforts because those are the places to get people in who will eventually be quite loyal. For that, we are adding tools & features such as newsletters, group chat, comments etc.
We are still in the larval stage, and have — and are still looking for — some publications who they think could build successful publications with our tools.
They have to match the following criteria: Editorial rigor, subject narrowness and ambition to take their business to higher stakes.
The goal is to invest time and money to help these media to launch their own membership program, and to use their models to establish a proof of concept that will encourage others to jump on board when we open up the platform in the future. These early creators will also be vital in the direction we take with features.
Some publishers we have been working with for jrnal, namely The Carton, TCO (Lwlies & Huck) and SoPress (French publisher, owner of SoFoot, Society, L’Etiquette, running heroes) are on top of the list of those we believe we can help to reach success.