Zuora Unveils Z-Business for Media, Helping Media Companies Use Paywall 2.0 to Win in Today’s Digital Age

October 10, 2014

News International, Fairfax Media, Pearson Continue to Lead the Industry

Redwood City, CA – March 20, 2013


  • Zuora, the leader in subscription commerce, billing, and finance, today announces Z-Business for Media, a relationship business management (RBM) solution that enables publishers to implement Paywall 2.0: a shift from advertiser-centric to subscriber-centric business strategies that enable growth in the digital age.
  • Z-Business for Media and Paywall 2.0 enable media companies to reinvent themselves in today’s digital age through strategies such as broadening their geographical reach, offering cross content bundling, delivering multi-device experiences, and providing creative pricing. The result is more predictable, growing revenue streams built on long lasting subscriber relationships.

Reinvention of the Media Industry Will Be Driven by Paywall 2.0

  • A few years ago, the media industry was on the brink of extinction. In the shift to digital, advertising spend was diverted to the Googles and Yahoo!s of the world and media advertising revenues plummeted to 1950s levels. It was assumed that people would never pay for online content, which left publishers scrambling for new sources of revenue. Reality hit hard as many popular media houses folded.
  • A small handful of titles, namely Financial Times, New York Times and Wall Street Journal, took matters into their own hands and implemented basic paywalls for premium content. These companies saw a steady rise in revenue and, for the first time in years, growth in their respective subscriber bases. Their results speak volumes:
    • In 2012, the New York Times made more money from subscription and circulation revenue than advertising – for the first time ever;
    • At Financial Times, digital subscriptions exceeded print circulation for the first time and mobile now accounts for one quarter of all traffic to FT.com.
  • However, a simple paywall is just the first step. In order for the media industry to thrive in this new reality, some media companies have seized the opportunity to reinvent themselves in an increasingly digital and mobile world.
  • Reinvention of the media industry must start with strategies that help media companies extend, monetize and maximize subscriber relationships. With a  Paywall 2.0 strategy, media companies have the opportunity to:
    • Increase their geographical reach;
    • Offer cross-title bundling;
    • Give subscribers richer, multi-device content experiences;
    • Extend products and offerings through creative content packaging and;
    • Build a predictable revenue model focused on subscriber relationships.

Z-Business for Media Enables Paywall 2.0

  • Zuora Z-Business for Media is a relationship business management (RBM) solution that enables media companies to solve growth challenges and to develop, monetize, and retain subscriber relationships.
  • The platform helps make Paywall 2.0 possible by delivering:
    • Pricing, billing and payments to support increased global reach including:
      • Multi-currency in over 200 currencies and;
      • Automation of global electronic payment processing.
    • Sophisticated subscription order management with support for:
      • Cross-title bundling of multiple items on a single subscription;
      • Consolidated billing for print, digital and other content formats and;
      • Ability to add or remove content items without disrupting subscriptions.
    • Support for multi-device and multi-channel experiences including:
      • Point-and-click tools for creating commerce Web pages;
      • Subscriber self-care that includes account and subscription management and;
      • Sample code libraries to enable faster time-to-market on multiple platforms.
    • Flexible product catalogs for creative content monetization with support for:
      • One time, recurring and pay-per-read charge models;
      • Creative time-based discounting rules and;
      • Multiple freemium pricing models.
    • Subscriber-centric analytics with support for:
      • Key forward looking metrics like MRR, ARR, renewals and churn;
      • Pre-built reports for insights into subscriptions, billing, cash, revenue and;
      • Ad-hoc reporting for real time access to multiple subscriber dimensions.

Industry leaders News International, Fairfax Media, Pearson and others have embraced Paywall 2.0 through the implementation of Z-Business for Media across their respective portfolios of leading publications.

Z-Business for Media is the latest example of the Zuora commitment to deliver relationship business management (RBM) to customers across a variety of industries adopting subscription-based models.

Customer and Industry Commentary

  • “We’ve seen a drastic drop in advertising revenue over the past five years. Putting a paid strategy around some of our digital content was a critical step in helping us to not only survive, but to thrive in today’s digital economy,” said Andrew Lam-Po-Tang, CIO, Fairfax Media. “Z-Business for Media gives us deeper insight into our readers, helps us to forecast their behavior and ultimately helps us to create a better, more relevant customer experience.”
  • “Customers are happy to pay for products and services they value. Our paid content strategy is no exception,” said Katie Vanneck-Smith, CMO, News International. “Zuora is helping us take control of our customer relationships and, unlike other systems Z-Business for Media has been designed around the future of subscription models, not the past.”
  • “The digital era has brought with it the opportunity for us to redefine our relationship with our customers and the developer community,” said Tom Hall, VP Education Technology Partnerships Pearson PLC. “Through our API datasets and our partnership with Zuora, Pearson has been able to make its content open and accessible to a whole new generation of partners.”
  • “The media industry is fast waking up to the notion that it’s subscriptions – not advertising – that will drive revenue growth in the digital age,” said Amy Konary, VP in the Software Resarch Group at IDC. “It is essential for these companies to give their customers flexibility in pricing, allow access of their content on both traditional and mobile devices, and to measure along the way. Media companies that rely on traditional models without recognizing the way readers want to consume and pay for content today will not be able to tackle the challenges of the rapidly changing media landscape.”     
  • “The reconstruction of the media industry started three years ago with a handful of pioneers validating the idea that people will indeed pay for high-quality content accessed across a range of devices from a trusted brand,” said Peter Kreisky, media industry pundit and chairman of Kreisky Media Consultancy.   “New tools like Zuora’s are important enablers for media companies to compete more vigorously in the emerging digital economy.”

Zuora Commentary

  • “As advertising shrinks as a source of revenue for magazines and newspapers, leading media companies know that subscriptions are the foundation to healthy growth,” said Tien Tzuo, CEO, Zuora, who will be speaking at the Guardian Changing Media Summit in London. “The shift to the Subscription Economy has disrupted many business models across a wide range of industries, up-ending many media companies who capitalized on the opportunities of the digital age.”

Additional Resources

About Zuora, Inc.

Zuora is the global leader in Relationship Business Management (RBM) solutions. Zuora delivers the subscription commerce, billing and finance capabilities that have become the industry standard to help companies transition to the Subscription Economy. Enterprises and emerging companies alike use Zuora’s multi-tenant cloud solution to streamline key processes, provide visibility into the metrics that matter most and serve as the financial engine of the business.  Zuora services innovative customers including Informatica, Tata Communications, Box, Zendesk, DocuSign, Xplornet, Ustream and Reed Business Information. To learn more about Zuora, please visit zuorainternprd.wpengine.com, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, join us on LinkedIn, hang out with us on Google+, or visit our blog, Z Blog.