4
| Media |

Inside Dallas News's Price-Hike Strategy

^
Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

The Dallas Morning News's circulation is way down -- by 30 percent since 2007 -- which is just what A.H. Belo higher-ups expected when they decided to start upping the price of the paper. In a "special report," Editor & Publisher details just how the News came up with the decision to charge $33.95 a month to new subscribers (and, sooner or later, longtime customers) and start putting more pages of "news" back into the newspaper:

Before the Morning News made such an audacious move on pricing, Belo did some homework by hiring The Modellers, a Salt Lake City-based market research firm with clients like Toyota, Starbucks, AT&T, Burger King and Gatorade, to create some price elasticity models. The group turned to 1,500 "core" Dallas Morning News subscribers who had taken the paper for three years or more. Moroney recalls, "We wanted to talk to our core readers and find out if you raise the price, what happens to sales on home delivery." ...

The group wasn't just asked about price. The graph also included a curve on news coverage. "We felt we need to tie it to content," says Randy Hill, the Modellers' vice president of client services. The results were startling. When asked about the perception of content in tandem with price increases, the survey found a 4-to-1 gap in price versus defection. For example, if the paper raised the subscription price but readers felt they were getting more content, the fall-off in volume would be around 10%. At the same price, if readers felt like they were getting less content, volume would fall by 40%.

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.