Readly, the digital magazine newsstand, has more than tripled its subscriber base over the last year (+210% year-on-year), boosted by a TV campaign on Channel 4. As a result, last year Readly delivered a total of 7m digital issues of UK magazines which were read by its paying customers.
Readly went live with TV advertising at the end of June 2016. The move was the product of an airtime-for-equity arrangement with the Channel 4 Commercial Growth Fund. In return for a minority equity stake in the all-you-can-read digital edition supplier, the broadcaster delivered a complete television advertising campaign which showcased the Readly service: 800 UK magazine brands delivered as digital editions to multiple devices with unlimited usage for a £7.99 per month subscription.
Ranj Begley, Readly UK’s Managing Director, said: “Like many publishers, we had not seriously considered TV advertising due to its perceived expense. Yet the partnership with Channel 4 has delivered a really impressive return and it has taken the Readly business on to a completely new level very cost-effectively”.
Between July and December 2016, the 30 second ads were shown in 6,500 spots which had a rate-card value of over £1m (click here to view the core ad). Using an attribution model created by TV Squared, Readly’s agency, Squadron Venture Media, has been able to assess the precise return-on-investment of each spot at every step in the acquisition process: from initial contact, through to free trial and on to paid subscription.
Ranj Begley: “The TV campaign has had two key impacts on our business. Firstly, it has driven strong and measurable growth in our acquisition activity, dramatically pushing up our subscriber numbers. Secondly, we can see that the TV ads have stimulated usage of our service among existing subscribers. The bottom-line for Readly is the number of magazine issues read by our subscribers: this totalled 7m for the full year of 2016 and is also rising rapidly.We know that there is a third dimension to all this which we cannot measure precisely – that this TV presence is also building the profile of specific magazine brands and of digital editions in general.”
Apart from the obvious promotional benefits, the Channel 4 campaign has also provided some interesting insights as to which days are the best on which to promote Readly (weekends produced the best results) and which times of day (breakfast and mid-mornings are strong). There have also been some learnings about which programmes deliver the most engagement with the Readly service – something which is already shaping the creative for future Channel 4 ads, but which is influencing the key messages running through all Readly’s promotional materials.
In addition, the campaign analysis has shown that the subscribers delivered through Channel 4 are more highly engaged than average, using the Ready service more quickly and more intensely than is usually seen from other sources.
Vinay Solanki, Head of Fund for Channel 4, said: “Our partnership with Readly exemplifies what we are aiming to do with the Commercial Growth Fund – to work with innovative and entrepreneurial businesses and fast-track their growth through access to our young and upmarket audience through the powerful medium of TV advertising. Detailed analysis of the campaign has shown that TV is the most dynamic marketing channel for Readly, driving customer acquisition at least as effectively as digital, at the same time as creating longer-term ‘halo’ impacts.”
All about the CHANNEL 4 COMMERCIAL GROWTH FUND
Channel 4’s Commercial Growth Fund offers companies with high growth potential, not investing at scale in advertising on television, the opportunity to build their business through advertising on Channel 4 marketing platforms – by exchanging equity stakes or striking revenue share arrangements. Launched in June 2015, the Fund reflects Channel 4’s own unique commercially funded, not-for-profit business model and aims to stimulate TV advertising spend from brands which are new to TV.
All about READLY
Readly is a digital service which lets customers have unlimited, “all-you-can-read” access to hundreds of national and international magazines in one app for just £7.99 per month – both streamed and downloaded. Ultra-fast, easy-to-use and convenient – each subscriber can access the inventory on up to 5 devices across the major operating systems – the service has an increasing range of functions, including advanced zoom, bookmark, search and sharing tools.In addition to all the consumer benefits, Ready offers a powerful, risk-free route to market for publishers who can also track how their content is being consumed.
The Readly operation was launched in Sweden in March 2013, but now has offices in the UK, USA and Germany and a rapidly growing user base in more than 50 countries, making it the world’s leading digital platform for reading magazines online. Readly UK started operation in the Spring of 2014 and now deals with 85 UK publishers, promoting 815 UK magazine brands, in addition to a growing inventory of over 1,000 international titles.