Last September, The Australian launched a campaign with three introductory digital offers in order to garner more digital subscribers. This month, the newspaper reported that they increased digital subscribers by 49% over the past year, from 27,182 to 40,561.But what’s most interesting are the insights the paper is willing to share regarding converted subscribers and non-subscribers.Specifically, The Australian found that trial-takers who converted to paying subscribers spent an average of 140.5 minutes per week on the site, whereas trial-takers who didn’t convert spent an average of 10.3 minutes on the site per week.In addition, those who received free trials and converted were far more likely to access content on multiple digital devices. Furthermore, 62% of subscribers and 61% of those who received free trials still claim to read the printed newspaper.This sheds some light on the best target market for news sites with metered paywalls. Apparently, heavy users who want all access — both online and offline — are the most likely to pay and value a subscription (40% of The Australian’s subscribers indicated the value they received from the Digital Pass exceeded their expectations).Of course, these results are from Australia, and as our 2013 Online Subscription Benchmark Report shows, consumer attitudes towards paying for news vary by geographic location. Nevertheless, American and European newspapers should be encouraged by these findings, which indicate that multi-device access is not a threat, but rather a desired benefit and perk to digital subscription sales, especially when priced the right way.
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