What’s Happening:

Newscene just launched in beta for its new service that makes it simple for publishers to build a revenue-generating membership program without writing a single line of code. The goal, quite simply, is membership made simple.

Why It Matters:

Publishers pivoting to reader revenue is no less than a revolution. But it requires publishers to build a loyal, trust-based reader model in which readers feel like they’re part of a community. While daily news consumption is heading towards conversations in small groups with trusted voices, Newscene believes that memberships can be the way to fulfill both needs.

Digging Deeper

For inspiration, Newscene looked at publishers with successful membership models, including The Athletic and De Correspondent, to create an all-in-one publishing platform that would be an alternative to mixing different platforms such as Mailchimp, WordPress and payment portals for membership publishing.

The product roadmap covers:

  • A robust back-end and CMS. The New York Times stack is our favorite benchmark.
  • Tools for research. Pre-data about the market, the audiences, and more.
  • User experience tools. Elegant design & the finest layouts.
  • Tools conversion. Statistics, metered paywall, data analysis, etc.
  • Tools for retention and unsubscription.

Newscene wants to help publishers prioritize their owned social efforts in order to attract readers who will be loyal, offering tools such as newsletters, group chats and comments.

The Bottom Line

During this beta stage, Newscene invites publishers into the platform, requiring potential partners to have editorial rigor, subject narrowness and ambition. The goal is to invest time and money to help these media companies launch their own membership program, and to use their models to establish a proof of concept that will encourage others to jump on board when the platform opens more fully in the future.

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“Programming will not be an obstacle to putting things in motion when we discover a higher level of programming abstractions that cover many different activities, including unguessed ones,” Newscene says.

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