Post and Courier advances digital subscriptions business with sports newsletters, in partnership with GNI

Published June 2022

The Post and Courier and Google News Initiative (GNI) published a case study highlighting the impact of new paid newsletters to the paper’s digital subscription business. In partnership with the GNI, The Post and Courier launched three niche products including two sports-oriented newsletters The Tiger Take, and Gamecocks Now and a consumer dining newsletter, CHS Menu.

The main findings outlined in the GNI case study tout The Post and Courier’s ability to appropriately estimate audience size and subscriber potential, growing their average rate per user by 8%, a result of accurately pricing the newsletters. Additionally, driving leads through multiple outlets was a successful benefit that reached beyond traditional free newsletters, to include contesting, Facebook advertisements, events and registered users. For example, the sports newsletters saw a 268% growth in athletic leads over the past eight months.

The sports newsletters were initiated in July of 2021 with a focus on South Carolina college athletics, specifically the states two top rivals. Both universities boast significant and loyal fan bases. The Tiger Take is written by Reporter Jon Blau and covers Clemson University athletics and Gamecocks Now satiates The University of South Carolina fans and is written by Reporter David Cloninger. The newsletters focus on breaking news and are typically updated three to four times a week.

In February 2022, after experiencing the success of the sports newsletters, The Post and Courier launched CHS Menu, giving locals and the ever-growing tourism audience an opportunity to enjoy the rich culinary scene in Charleston through the eyes of Food Editor Parker Milner. CHS Menu, releases weekly on Tuesday mornings.

Current subscribers of The Post and Courier are offered a discount to the newsletters and non-subscriber may purchase them on a monthly or annual basis. CHS Menu offers subscribers three levels of pricing and each level includes unique experiences such as a restaurant passport, Editor’s Luncheon and other benefits based on the subscription level.

Clay Fisher, GNI Advisor, said, “It was exciting to see The Post and Courier develop a portfolio of niche subscription products to complement their reader experience and diversify their subscription offerings. The team moved quickly to bring their concept to market, continually improved the experience for subscribers and successfully developed a model for future subscription products.”

“These initial results from our partnership with The Post and Courier are promising, and provide valuable insights for how a news organization can build a viable newsletter standalone offering,” said Ben Monnie, Director of News Global Partnerships Solutions at Google.

President and Publisher of The Post and Courier, P.J. Browning said, “Our partnership with GNI has helped us further explore niche audiences. It has created alternative revenue streams and has also allowed us to better understand what content readers are willing to pay for.”

The case study for this can be found HERE.

About Post and Courier: Founded in 1803, The Post and Courier is the oldest newspaper in the South, the second oldest in the United States and the largest in South Carolina with more than 90 journalists on staff. The newspaper has garnered some of the highest awards in journalism including two Pulitzer Prizes. In 2021, The Post and Courier split from its parent company and along with the community papers formed Evening Post Publishing Newspaper Group.

About GNI: The Google News Initiative works side-by-side with publishers and journalists to build a more sustainable, diverse and innovative news ecosystem. Through programs, products and partnerships, we strive to advance the practice of quality journalism and strengthen publisher business models in the digital age.