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GNI APAC Subscriptions Lab Launches at WAN-IFRA Asian Media Leaders eSummit

Friday 31. July 2020 - The World Association of News Publishers (WAN-IFRA), FTI Consulting and Google announced the launch of the APAC GNI Subscriptions Lab at the WAN-IFRA Asian Media Leaders eSummit. The Lab is an intensive four-month programme to help eight different news publishers from the Asia-Pacific region strengthen digital subscriptions capabilities and grow reader revenue. Interested publishers can apply here until August 7, 2020.

The programme is an Asian Pacific expansion of GNI Subscriptions Labs in North America, Latin America and Europe and is part of the Google News Initiative (GNI) which provides products, partnership and training to help the news industry succeed in the digital age. The APAC GNI Subscriptions Lab is being developed in partnership with FTI Consulting and WAN-IFRA and draws on FTI Consulting’s expertise in helping global news publishers develop successful digital subscription businesses, Google’s resource support across the digital audience, product and strategic insights, and WAN-IFRA’s extensive network of member news publishers across the region.
The goal of the programme is to develop a sustainable and thriving digital subscriptions business for participating news organisations. The programme will include modules on creating loyal paying relationships with readers, optimizing the engagement and subscription funnel, and embracing a reader-first strategy and culture.
WAN-IFRA, FTI Consulting and Google will select publishers for the programme following an online application process, with the goal of representing a diverse cross-section of legacy print and digital-native news organisations. Following the Lab, the experience and knowledge gained from the programme will be shared with publishers around the world to help them implement their own digital subscription strategies.
“News organisations who had set in motion strategies for alternate revenue streams were able to better withstand the pressures of reduced advertising due to COVID-19. We believe it’s crucial for publishers of all sizes to find ways to grow their reader revenue to ensure a sustainable future for their business. By launching the Subscriptions Labs in APAC, we hope to support and encourage more news organisations in their transitions towards this model.” says Rohan Tiwary, Head of Media, News & Entertainment Partnerships for Google APAC.
“The opportunity to work with eight Asian Pacific publishers, to help them build their own successful subscription businesses, was one that we were very excited to be a part of,” says Ken Harding, Senior Managing Director for FTI Consulting. “Over the next several months, the FTI team will be working with each publisher, sharing the learnings from both our work in the GNI North America Subs Lab as well as publishing clients worldwide, on how to best accelerate digital subscription growth. We believe that reader revenue is a key component for a sustainable business model for news publishers and we are excited to be building this programme with our partners in the Lab.”
“As the global association for news media companies, WAN-IFRA believes that a financially healthy media is essential for a free and independent press. We have long championed digital subscriptions as an important pathway to a sustainable media business,” says Thomas Jacob, Chief Operating Officer of WAN-IFRA. “Over the last decade we have been helping several news media companies understand paid content models through digital media conferences across the globe, advisory services, special reports and online learning modules. We are delighted to partner GNI and FTI in this Subscriptions Lab to assist Asian media companies on their paid content journey.”
Applications are open and interested publishers should complete an application form before August 14, 2020.
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