News Publishers Seek Subscribers with OOH

Marquee publishers The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) and The New York Times (NYT) are using OOH and other media to boost subscriptions.

These sophisticated campaigns showcase key points about the changing media marketplace:

  • Ad revenue for top newspaper brands like WSJ and NYT is softening while subscription revenue is up
  • Mainline traditional media – amidst the debate about “fake news” – are advertising their quality, substance, and credibility
  • Other media rely on OOH media to communicate with customers

The Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal wants you to “Read Yourself Better,” and it’s using OOH in a multi-media ad campaign to spread the word. This major brand campaign is aimed at urging readers to turn to quality and trustworthy news for their information.

OOH ads will appear throughout the country, including major markets like Los Angeles, Denver, Philadelphia, and New York encouraging readers to “Read yourself past the hashtags,” “Read yourself to your own opinion,” and “Read yourself out of your comfort zone.”

The campaign will also run on local and cable networks, across social and digital platforms, and a print ad will appear in Fortune magazine.

As part of the campaign launch, WSJ will lift its paywall so readers can enjoy an unlimited number of articles from November 9-11. The goal is to drive subscription rates.

The New York Times

Truth campaign spotted in Washington, DC last week

Last week The New York Times reported revenue results; digital ad revenue dropped 5.4 percent in the third quarter, compared to the same quarter last year. Overall advertising revenue fell 6.7 percent.

In a statement, New York Times Company CEO-president Mark Thompson cited “continued turbulence in the digital advertising space” for the decline.

However, digital subscriptions are up. The Times has topped four million paid digital subscribers, adding 273,000 new digital subscriptions in Q3 2019, the third-largest increase ever recorded. Overall, total revenue grew 2.7 percent year-on-year to $428.5 million in Q3 2019.

Revenue and subscription growth comes on the back its award-winning multi-media campaign, including OOH across the country, emphasizing The Times’ commitment to truthful reporting.

The Truth is Hard campaign first launched in early 2017. According to drogo5, the agency behind the campaign, it “not only lifted public opinion of The New York Times but helped drive conversion as well, acquiring more subscribers in just 24 hours than the Times had in the six weeks prior to launch.”

The campaign has evolved and continued through 2019, with OOH placements currently live, driving digital subscribers from 2 million in 2017 to more than 4 million today.



Modified: 2 years