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76th IAPA General Assembly: Subscriptions and payment models

Last week, the IAPA (Inter-American Press Associatio) held its 76th General Assembly in a unique context. Over three days, several meetings and panels were held in digital format through which the main issues affecting the present and future of the media industry were addressed.

We are witnessing a key moment that has altered the way information is transmitted and demanded, something that is linked to the approach of new strategic models. A topic of great interest is focused on digital subscriptions, mainly motivated by the good figures that have been reached by the media at a global level since the beginning of the pandemic.

The "subscriptions and payment models" panel was an interesting exchange of data, forecasts and experiences between Gabriela Hadid, from the philanthropic investment firm Luminate (Argentina), Borja Echevarría, deputy director of El País (Spain) and Pepe Cerezo, a consultant specialized in digital strategy and transformation (Spain) at Agencia Evoca.

The panel was moderated by Alejandro Lorenzo, CEO of Protecmedia, who introduced the presentations by reflecting on how the digitalization caused by the pandemic has given rise to new opportunities and has strengthened the subscription model.

The different presentations dealt with common aspects that we can bring together in the following highlights:

- The pandemic has accelerated processes and trends that have been evolving for years. The most notable has been the relevant digitalization of audiences, something which has generated a very important opportunity for the media.

- The subscription model has been strengthened. The reader has understood that quality information is also found in digital channels, which in recent months have acquired great value. Audiences are increasingly willing to pay for content, as long as it meets quality standards.

In this sense, making digital subscription models work will encourage investment in the newsroom itself and in higher-level journalism.

- In a new digital subscription strategy it is very important that the media rethink its business model at a global level. The reader is, in this case, the guide that determines the decisions and centralizes the efforts.

The successful models will be those that provide value to the audiences in order to get them to subscribe.

- The role of technology is essential to enhance the work of the journalist since it is the tool that teams use every day. Together with the commitment to quality journalism, technology and innovation form the basis that will allow journalistic strategies and models to work.

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