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LinkedIn is looking for premium publishers as a way to increase subscriber sales



LinkedIn is looking for premium publishers as a way to increase subscriber sales

LinkedIn wants to expand the base of people who spend money on its premium membership and hopes that access to paywall content from premium publishers will help.

The Microsoft-owned social network tacitly launched a pilot program called LinkedIn Premium News last month, which will give LinkedIn Premium members better access to content posted by websites that use Piano’s paywall technology, according to sources from two publications who are familiar with LinkedIn’s pitch. The program, which started with less than a dozen publishers, is still expanding, a third source familiar with the project said with other publishers to come on board in the coming weeks.

Piano, one of the largest paywall providers in the media sector, works with publishers such as Gannett, Axel Springer and Le Parisien; Digiday Media is also a customer.

The test gives LinkedIn Premium members five credits that they can use each month to unlock paywall content that they discover on LinkedIn and read on publisher websites. In return for better access to paywall coverage, LinkedIn expects to send participating publishers a stream of highly qualified leads for their own subscription products.

When asked for comment, a LinkedIn spokesperson sent a statement saying the program “is in line with our efforts to help publishers reach the right audience and build a community around their content.” The project, the spokesman went on, aims to “add value to members and publishers on and outside of LinkedIn.” LinkedIn does not cut the subscriber revenue that publishers could get from the leads generated by the pilot program.

Overall, publishers have become more and more suspicious of platforms in recent years. However, a subset of publishers say LinkedIn plays a significant role in their business, even if the impact on the publishing landscape as a whole is small. According to Parsely data, LinkedIn currently ranks outside of the top 10 sources of referral traffic to publishers’ websites.

But even if LinkedIn never fired the imagination of publishers as Facebook once did, it has grown steadily in recent years. In its latest quarterly results, Microsoft said that LinkedIn had 740 million members and that revenue rose 25% to $ 2.12 billion in the most recent quarter.

It’s not clear how big the role of subscriber revenue is in the platform’s business. LinkedIn never disclosed how many Premium Members it had. LinkedIn offers two tiers, the cheapest of which is $ 29.99 per month.

While companies are constantly collaborating on testing, LinkedIn and Piano are committed to ongoing collaboration. Piano mentioned that LinkedIn had become one of its strategic investors when it announced a $ 88 million financing round in May.

LinkedIn looks to premium publishers as a way to drive subscriber revenue

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