Bauer selects Abacus e-Media’s ADvance for paid content strategy

Bauer Media has chosen the Abacus e-Media’s ADvance audience management platform to test out paid online access for two of its consumer brands.

Automotive titles Car and MCN have introduced the concept of premium content on their previously free-to-air websites. Users subscribing to the new Car and MCN Plus services can access full content from the print magazine online as well as exclusive digital stories and features and a selection of classic articles from archives stretching back 50 years. Existing print subscribers get access to Plus as part of their package.

Limited amounts of free access to Plus content are made available to any user who registers via an ADvance-generated form and those who want more can simply sign-up online and pay monthly for access via a credit card.

Bauer chose ADvance because it allows different access and gating rules to be tested very easily and rapidly alongside flexible data capture forms. ADvance also supports all the e-commerce functions required to establish a paid subscription service including continuous card payments, says Abacus e-Media.

This flexibility gives Bauer the tools it needs to find the best model for each title. According to Chris Gadsby, Bauer’s Commercial Marketing Director, this was a key consideration in adopting ADvance: “We wanted to find a partner to work with on developing paid access models on two of our market leading specialist brands. By working with Abacus, we have been able to quickly test and learn around content mix, thresholds, pricing and communications. Their ADvance system excellently supports our iterative approach, allowing us to respond quickly by making changes through their easily adaptable gating & paywall technology.”

Ian Eckert, Managing Director of Audience Development at Abacus e-Media, said that the company was excited to be partnering with Bauer Media UK: "Our access control and paywall technology has long been used by leading B2B publishers such as Centaur, Thomson Reuters, UBM and Plexus [formerly EMAP] and increasingly in the institutional sector with organisations including the Law Society, but we’ve always believed that it would work equally well for consumer publishers as they look to monetise their digital audience. And consumer publishers don’t come any bigger than Bauer with its portfolio of iconic brands from Empire to Closer – so we are thrilled to be helping it develop its paid content strategy.”

Chris Gadsby stresses that Abacus’s wide experience of developing paid content models has played an important part in the success of the project: “The team were extremely supportive and flexible in helping to initially set the tests up and, by continuing to share with us their experience of gated solutions gained from other markets, they have been able to really help us in understanding what the data is telling us and importantly in suggesting analysis based next steps for the tests.”