Piano, a leading digital experience platform, released its 2022 Subscription Performance Benchmark Report. The study analyses customer behaviour in publisher subscription environments. This report looks at current behaviour throughout the customer journey: overcoming registration obstacles; turning registered users into subscribers; engaging active subscribers; and mitigating churn.

Key findings

“As subscription programs mature, publishers need to adopt more sophisticated tactics in targeting users for both acquisition and retention. When we analyse the customer journey for digital subscriptions, we’re looking at how organisations can drive engagement—and in turn, increase user value.” said Michael Silberman, SVP Strategy at Piano. “The benchmark data highlights a few of the opportunities we’ve identified for organisations to propel future subscription growth.”

Takeaways from the report include:

  • ‘Sleepers’ comprise more than 40% of subscribers for the average subscription website (defined as active subscribers who haven’t been on the site in the past 30 days)
  • Nearly one-third of all active churn happens in the first 24 hours. This period is therefore a critical time for subscriber engagement
  • Though they make up 65% of digital audiences today, mobile visitors convert at a much lower rate – 19.7% compared to 42.4% for desktop users

“Analytics data fuels insights to tell organisations how they can make improvements to get better performance,” said Patrick Appel, director of research at Piano. “These businesses aren’t just set-it-and-forget-it businesses. You can’t say you set up some rules and now everything’s going to be perfect. Active management plays a big role for the publishers that have the greatest success. That kind of trajectory is important and is informed by data.”

Access to data and insights about audiences allows publishers to optimise the subscriber experience throughout the customer journey. The findings in Piano’s annual report are designed to help businesses identify areas of opportunity. This is key in efforts to drive subscriber acquisition and retention.

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