Statesman Tries 24-Hour Access Pass

Paraphrased from Sylvia Rodriguez and TJ McLarty, 03/30/2014 - After an initial teaser paragraph, non-subscribers are invited to purchase a 99 cent day pass to give them access to articles across the Statesman’s various internet platforms. The program's greatest success? Sports readers.

The Austin American-Statesman launched the 99 cent day pass program in August 2013, and has seen 8,000 subscription sales directly related to the campaign since its debut.

Using both print and digital banners to market it, the 24-hour digital day pass offers stubbed stories on the Austin-American Statesman's main website.

When readers begin viewing an article, they are led to a paywall. Once they arrive at the paywall, the Statesman requested readers to purchase a day pass to continue reading.

To date, over 8,000 readers have purchased these day passes. The majority of the day pass purchases were generated through sports coverage.

The idea arose from an industry best practices concept that states that it's beneficial to give free trial access to premium digital-only content.

In Austin, TX there were a number of consumer requests to access premium digital-only content which allowed the Statesman to target non-traditional subscribers and grant them access to articles — whenever and however they want for minimal cost.

The digital day pass allows non-subscribers to purchase 24-hour digital access to all of the Statesman's premium products for only 99 cents. The goal was to target non-traditional readers of news content — people who don’t usually subscribe to the print products and/or do not want a long-term commitment.

The 24-hour digital day pass has had its greatest success with sports story coverage.

In the Austin, TX news market, anything that is related to University of Texas Longhorns gets an overwhelming amount of web traffic and activity. Austin is Longhorn country and coverage around the University of Texas is at a premium (subscribers only).

Conversion rates from sports coverage are higher due to the interest that Statesman readers have in sports, regardless of whether they are subscribers or not.

By listening to their online audience, the Austin-American Statesman digital day pass has been a success. The response was better than anticipated and provided a solution for those readers who didn’t want the commitment of a traditional subscription, but still wanted access.

The paywall pops up after the reader is allowed to read about one paragraph of content and prompts the reader to sign up for the day pass. At that point, the reader is engaged enough in the story to purchase a day pass.

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Austin-American Statesman

24-Hour Day Pass for Digital Content