Increases Online Subscribers

Paraphrased from Steve Levy, Chicago Tribune, 06/29/2014 - For over 165 years, the Chicago Tribune has been the city of Chicago’s leading storyteller.

Although the vast majority of the Tribune’s storytelling and reporting has happened through the printed page, the Tribune is continually working to build upon, and optimize its digital experiences — for Chicago Tribune as well as its other publications, including RedEye, Chicago Magazine, The Mash, and more.

The effort the Chicago Tribue has put into digital continues to pay off.

The Chicago Tribune’s online audience continues to grow, especially on smart phones and mobile devices, and its digitalPLUS premium content membership program continues to engage readers across devices, finding opportunities to meet the digital needs of print subscribers.

Leading up to the summer of 2013, the Chicago Tribune's marketing team recognized the need to better introduce the city of Chicago to the Tribune's digital experience.

Since the residents of Chicago spend nearly all of their time in the summer outdoors, they knew that any marketing campaign would have to take place outside in the spectacular weather and the city’s many different festivals, events, concerts, and more.

In June 2013, the Chicago Tribune introduced their interactive, traveling 'road show' marketing campaign; three, fully-wrapped, Tribune-branded delivery trucks – ones all too familiar to Chicagoans who leave for work before sunrise each day. The trucks were retrofitted to support a display of LCD panels and some free-standing digital display units.

These interactive mobile displays featured Chicago Tribune videos and its many websites on touch screens, tablets, mobile phones, and TVs so audiences could interact directly with all of the Chicago Tribune’s trademark content across all available digital platforms.

Audiences had the chance to use the Chicago Tribune website as if it were pulled up on their own mobile phone devices, taken out of their own pocket, at their convenience.

The 'road show' marketing campaign traveled to the Taste of Chicago , as well as the Air & Water Show, the Chicago Blues Fest, and other music and street fairs and festivals Chicagoans flock to annually.

By the end of 2013, the 'road show' campaign had:

  • Reached over 3.5 million consumers.
  • Led to an 87% increase in digital online-only subscribers.
  • Led to a 25% increase in total subscribers, including both print and digital.
  • Increased the Chicago Tribune's registered readership to over 625,000 people.

Registered readers are a highly valuable subset of readers who are primed for conversion into paying subscription memberships. An audience that helped drive growth in use of the Chicago Tribune’s mobile, completely responsive website in the final half of 2013.

With the summer of 2014 upon us, the Chicago Tribune's marketing team continues to look forward to what’s ahead.

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