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Top U.S. Newspapers: Who Sits Above the Fold?

Extra! Extra! Journalism is dying! 

Well…not really, but the name of the news game has changed drastically in the last few decades with the advent of the digital age. 

As of 2018, 68% of Americans get their news at least occasionally from social media. And news consumption is no longer confined to the television or desktop; it’s shifting to a more mobile medium.

News outlets aren’t only dealing with changes in consumption methods, but also preferences. Coverage of a specific topic is the top reason people subscribe to an outlet. And with 42% of the public thinking news outlets too often veer into commentary, news-seekers are getting pickier with their outlet choices.

Really, it means the keys to survival are accurate reporting and personalization. People want trustworthy news on their device of choice in their topic of choice. 

The rest is noise. 

But, it is the job of news outlets to inform and educate. That means curating quality content to educate audience members about breaking news stories and top headlines, in addition to topics of interest. 

Personalization across multiple channels accounts for this, as users can decide which topics reach the devices of their choosing. Add in specialized incentives for subscription and the path to success is there. 

User Engagement Teardown: U.S. Newspapers

In our latest User Engagement Teardown, we take a look at four leading U.S. newspapers: The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and USA Today. We wanted to understand how each publication addressed user preferences and incentivized subscriptions through promotional campaigns.  

Our research consisted of subscribing to each publication’s communications for a three-week span at the end of June 2019.  

During these three weeks, we registered for an account on each site and increased our level of activity. We completed our profiles, downloaded their mobile apps, signed up for newsletters, and abandoned shopping carts when signing up for premium subscriptions.

After analyzing the content of all messages received, we identified what these organizations are doing well and what areas could use improvement.

(Note: if you can’t see the embedded SlideShare, make sure to turn off any ad blockers!)

Note: The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and USA Today are not Iterable customers.

You can also see our past comparative teardowns (including a look at the home decor industry and a Black Friday showdown) on our Resources page.

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