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Readly accelerates subscription growth with a new pricing strategy

Press Release   •   Mar 22, 2016 11:00 GMT

In a drive to make a step change in its audience growth, digital newsstand Readly is cutting its UK subscription price from £9.99 to £7.99 per month on March 22.

Launched in the UK in the Spring of 2014, the all-you-can read digital magazine service has already made a big impact:

  • It is serving digital magazines to consumers at the rate of 36 million per year – all paid-for sales for publishers.
  • In 2015, Readly subscriber numbers virtually doubled, leaping by 97% year-on-year: a growth rate which is accelerating in the first quarter of this year.

These strong growth figures are in a market where many publishers are failing to gain real traction in their own direct sales of digital editions.

Ranj Begley, Readly UK’s Managing Director, said: “We have managed to grow so quickly because of our scale and our single-minded focus on digital – things that most individual publishers find difficult to achieve on their own. We have spent a lot of promotional money building our brand. We also have a wide range of magazines in our inventory which makes the service very attractive to the consumer when it is offered in an all-you-can-read payment model.”

Readly’s own research shows that it has developed a big presence in the core market of magazine enthusiasts – consumers who are already regular magazine readers, whether in print or digital, and who can see that the £9.99 per month subscription is excellent value for money. The next phase is to move on to the more general user of entertainment services, where price becomes more of an issue.

Begley: “For a Magazine Enthusiast, £9.99 a month for unlimited digital reading is an absolute no-brainer. Yet we now want to go beyond that core market to target what we call the Entertainment Junkie. These people tend to subscribe to more than one stream of entertainment – many are using services such as Sky, Netflix, Spotify and Amazon Prime in parallel. Each service is great value in its own right, but having a number of subscriptions on top of each other is a big financial commitment. In order to penetrate this market, we need a different pricing structure. After much testing, £7.99 is a price we feel comfortable with. It is low enough to capture significant numbers of Entertainment Junkies without devaluing the core service.”

At the same time, Readly is developing its core service in a variety of ways. A recent example is the new article search facility which is building usage, engagement and title discovery among subscribers. Consumers can search by topic for specific articles across the whole magazine inventory. These articles are opened up within the issue, so it maintains the integrity of the issue itself – an important factor in a market where the role and the economics of “atomised content” is a big discussion point.

Begley: “We have big ambitions for Readly. These ambitions mean that we want to sit next to companies such as Netflix and Spotify in terms of scale and profile - this is the next step change in our development. Price is a key lever to help us achieve that.”

Other key facts about how Readly is used....

  • 82% of the issue downloads are of current issues, with 18% being of back issues. The Readly platform is a powerful way for publishers to leverage additional revenue from their back inventory – a key application of digital editions.
  • Subscribers are spending an average of over 5 hours reading time per month. The Readly platform is carving out a significant place in busy consumers’ lives.
  • Subscribers are using more than one device to access the content - the average device per user is 3.6. This underlines two key facts. Firstly, that the Readly service is being used flexibly on different devices in different situations, whether at home or on the move. Secondly, that more than one person in the household is using the service.
  • Readly is platform agnostic. While most users have iOS, Android and other platforms are growing their share. This is helping to broaden the user base for publishers and adds more stability during the current Apple turbulence where Apple News usage is not compensating for the loss of Apple Newsstand.

All about the READLY app

Readly is a service which lets customers have unlimited access to hundreds of national and international magazines in one app. It offers fast download and easy, intuitive use so that the reader can read magazines online effortlessly. Once installed (on to up to five devices per subscriber), the app provides access to as many issues, both current and back inventory, as readers want to download on to their devices for a flat monthly subscription in an innovative “all you can read” package. Issues can be streamed or held remotely on the READLY server in the subscriber’s secure account area. The digital magazines are deconstructed from publisher PDF print files and are automatically reconstructed into an advanced format which is optimised for a wide range of devices. This provides ultra-fast downloading, simple and consistent navigation across all the magazines, together with advanced zoom, bookmark, search and sharing functions. The app can be used on a range of devices and operating systems including IoS, Android, Windows and Kindle Fire. Subscribers can start reading 5 seconds into a download which takes an average 30 seconds on a fast internet connection (or 2 minutes using 3G). Users’ behaviours are tracked in order to distribute revenues to each publisher based on the number of pages read and the time spent on each page. This data also provides publishers with deep insights into how their content is being consumed.

All about READLY

  • Readly International AB, the company behind the Readly service, is a privately owned company headquartered in Sweden. Starting active operations in March 2013, Readly today has offices in Sweden, the UK, USA and Germany and a rapidly growing user base in more than 50 countries, making Readly the world’s leading digital platform for reading magazines online.
  • Readly UK Ltd is the UK subsidiary which launched in this country in the Spring of 2014 and now deals with 65 UK publishers, promoting 520UK magazine brands.

For the Readly user video, go to gb.readly.com

Press Contact

Ranj Begley

Managing Director (UK)

ranj.begley@readly.com

+44 (0)20 7795 8186

About the Readly app
Readly is a service that lets customers have unlimited access to hundreds of national and international magazines in one app. The service offers fast download and easy, intuitive use so that the reader can read magazines online effortlessly. After a free two-week trial period, subscribers pay € 9.99 per month (in US $ 9.99; in UK £ 9.99) for unlimited use.  This price includes use of the service on up to five devices, allowing the service to be shared among the whole family so that everyone can read their favourite magazines online. Currently the service includes close to 600 titles, but the number of titles and issues available increases continuously; you can find the current selection at http://www.readly.com.

About Readly

Readly International AB, the company behind the Readly service, is a privately owned company headquartered in Sweden. Formed in 2012, Readly today has offices in Sweden, the UK, USA and Germany and a rapidly growing user base in more than 100 countries, making Readly the world’s leading digital platform for reading magazines online. For publishers, Readly represents both additional reader revenues and deep insights into reader behavior. The magazine version is available globally. In Sweden, Readly also offers a book version that lets readers experience the original print layout including images. This delivers an unrivalled digital reading experience for books where photos and illustrations are important, such as children’s books and cookbooks. Readly has also introduced a pilot version for newspapers.

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