Inside the Double-Digit Revenue Growth in Digital Publishing Subscriptions Last Year

The pandemic, protests and the U.S. presidential election fueled a boom in digital news subscriptions

Despite the ongoing drumbeat of reported doom and gloom for the survival of publishing, a new report on the subscription economy says subscription revenue for digital news and information publications increased by 16% in 2020 even in the face of declining advertising revenues. Overall, the study concludes that the subscription economy has grown by nearly 500% in the past decade.

Zuora, an enterprise software company that creates and provides software to launch and manage subscription based services, said in its bi-annual report that major news stories — including the COVID-19 crisis, racial inequality protests and the contentious U.S. presidential election — fueled a boom in subscribers for newspapers, magazines, book publishers, educational content providers and corporate research providers.

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Diane Haithman

Diane Haithman

Senior Entertainment Business Reporter • • @dhaithman Diane came to TheWrap from a position as Staff Reporter at The Los Angeles Business Journal, covering Entertainment/Media, Philanthropy and Style. Diane was a Los Angeles Times Staff Writer for two decades, covering arts, culture and the TV industry. Her novel Dark Lady of Hollywood was published to critical acclaim by Harvard Square Editions in 2014. She serves on the adjunct faculty of Emerson College Los Angeles and has taught feature writing at USC. Diane is co-author of the nonfiction book The Elder Wisdom Circle Guide for a Meaningful Life (Penguin/Plume 2007) and is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists-Los Angeles Chapter.