Advance Local, one of the largest media groups in the United States operating 10 leading news and information organizations and reaching 55 million people monthly, has quadrupled their subscription goal using Sophi Content Paywall Engine. Faced with advertising pressures exacerbated by the Coronavirus, Advance Local increased subscription conversions 45% using Sophi.io, an AI-powered automation, optimization and prediction platform developed by The Globe and Mail. Their success with Sophi has also earned them a spot as a finalist in the Digiday Media Awards, announced this week.
Neil Katz, Chief Customer Officer at Advance Local, said, “We wanted to see how much farther Sophi could take us, so we tested Sophi Content Paywall on one of our largest sites. The results were transformative. We were hoping for a 10% lift in conversion rate and Sophi delivered four times that result. We’re continuing to roll out Sophi solutions across more of our sites as we speak.”
Advance started using Sophi Content Paywall Engine on one of their largest sites, cleveland.com, to get better insights into the value of their content and fuel their new subscription business. The technology uses advanced natural language processing (NLP) to analyze every piece of content and select which articles to put behind a paywall. It picks only those articles where the subscription revenue opportunity outweighs the advertising revenue forgone.
During an experiment where Advance could see how Sophi performed side by side with their existing paywall, Sophi presented roughly the same amount of paywalls and generated a 45% lift in the total conversion rate, while also uncovering pockets of content that editors didn’t anticipate would generate subscriptions.
John Hassell, Senior Vice President and Editorial Director at Advance Local, said “We wanted to see if Sophi’s content paywall could increase subscriber acquisition by 10% and it blew that goal out of the water. We’re feeling good about the platform and the way it is showing us just how valuable our editorial content is to our audience.”
Advance Local is also a finalist in the Digiday Media Awards, in the category of Best Subscription or Membership Product, for their work using Sophi Content Paywall Engine.
“Advance Local is an incredibly innovative organization that we’ve watched push the boundaries and we’re very excited to be working with them,” said Mike O’Neill, Co-Founder and CEO of Sophi.io. “We’re seeing great value come from the content paywall they’ve implemented and we’re excited to introduce some other cutting edge technology into this very strong brand.”