Philippe van Mastrigt

Diversify Your Revenue Streams with Advantage

If you are keeping a close eye on the latest trends in the press sector, you’ll notice that offering subscriptions alone is no longer sufficient to ensure a publisher’s survival. The evidence is clear, as advertising revenues collapse (the historical mainstay of the sector's business model) and single copy sales are quickly following the same path. Two years ago, subscriptions were considered the way out of the crisis, especially combined with the impending digital transition. However, it turns out that subscription sales have not been able to compensate for the loss of advertising, and digital content is now undervalued. All these trends in general vary from one press to another, with daily and weekly news publications facing much different challenges than mainstream magazines, let alone the specific challenges faced by professional and academic publishers. 

So, what's the answer? Diversification.

Some savvy publishers have successfully diversified for many years, but this strategy is now proving to be a condition of survival for many others as well. And for Advantage users, here's the good news: diversification is and has always been an integral part of our business model. You might say that this idea has now become a part of our DNA!

Advantage's DNA: Multi-Product, Multi-Model and Customer-Centric

When we launched Advantage back in 1980, we did all the right things when we decided to create an all-in-one multi-product, multi-model, customer-centric solution. The idea was that one customer with a daily newspaper on the one hand was the object of an application start-up, and another as a book publisher. This principle has only been reinforced over time as we have now grown into a multi-sector and multi-country presence. Advantage offers an incredibly broad spectrum of possibilities for those businesses wishing to diversify their product offerings. 

Here is a non-exhaustive list of the areas covered by Advantage today:

  • A wide range of print subscription options be it daily, weekly, printed in a magazine or newsletter, sold as “billed after service” or alternately, prepaid in advance. Advantage also allows you to fulfill either issue-based or calendar-based subscriptions, by direct debit or even by renewal...

  • Digital subscriptions, meaning digital content that is billed over a period of time: Advantage can easily handle bundled content, for one or more accounts, for any conceivable duration, by direct debit or reminder, in advance or even “billed after service...”

  • Token-based subscriptions, to consult content on demand.

  • The sale of books, products, or services, with or without inventory management. You can even offer collections, boxes or repeat orders.

  • Conferences, events, trade shows and training courses.

  • Print-on-demand offers

  • And, so many more!

Advantage allows you to combine your offerings into packages or bundles, so that you can then add in promotional offerings. You could add even more value by upgrading your customer subscriptions, for example. Or you could offer a variety of incentives or premiums, ensuring customer retention. The combination of print and digital content, together in a single synchronized subscription, is only one example. With Advantage, you have the flexibility to combine and diversify your products in so many ways, with varying pricing structures and payment methods. 

Our Secret Weapon: Time-Based Subscriptions

If you are thinking about offering new subscription-based services, such as video channels, databases, on-demand services and more, Advantage is ready! Advantage supports out-of-the-box, time-based subscriptions. We call them "agreements.”

Advantage’s agreement feature enables you to create a subscription for a given duration, which is easily adjustable and renewable, and accommodates any type of physical product (classic titles) or digital access service. Collectively, you manage the whole “agreement” as a subscription, allowing one or multiple people to have access. This subscription can then be migrated as you would like, from one offer to another, pushing diversification into premium elements, for example. 

Advantage provides you with an open canvas with which you can launch new concepts and test new offers. We are constantly adapting our solution to meet the ever-increasing and very complex consumer demand.

A Concrete Example

Let's imagine a publisher of a widely distributed DIY magazine, with a well-known brand name, that serves 12 issues a year. This publisher has a lot going for them: expert journalists, a well-recognized brand, a subscriber base close to the subject, and numerous contacts with industry players. Nevertheless, the print edition is steadily declining in the face of competition from internet publications, which are offering content free of charge. 

Perhaps now is the perfect time for this publisher to consider bundling their print magazine with access to digital content and selling it as a premium (for just a few euros more?). Maybe it's also a great time for them to adjust the frequency of the publication’s issues, from 12 to 6 a year. Why? This kind of change can free up time for journalists, which then affords them more opportunities for special issues and specialized books on a variety of topics. These are the kinds of initiatives that will likely increase sales and facilitate affiliate partnerships with bloggers. 

Over time, this publisher could even start adding a specialized book club to their growing collection of subscription offerings. Later, other derivative products could be added, possibly with external partners. Some journalistic content could be marketed specifically online, and sold by thematic "verticals,” thanks to access articles and newsletters. This would be a new opportunity to target professional segments, for example. Over time, the publisher could even further extend their content to include training videos, trade shows, conferences, and events. For their occasional buyers, token purchases could be used to provide access to content on more of a usage-basis. Finally, the publisher could move to accommodate a host of new services, from a DIY advice hotline to a video or even a podcast channel. 

This one example shows you how powerful product diversification can be. 

How Advantage Can Grow Alongside Your Business

Through all the publisher’s product innovations described above, isn’t it reassuring to know that Advantage has all the tools to accommodate these kinds of product initiatives? Advantage can easily handle frequency changes, product bundling, print and digital synchronization, book clubs (both physical and eBooks!) and other continuity programs, and so much more…

In short, while you plan out all the ways to diversify your product offerings, Advantage has what you need to help you accomplish your goals.

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