Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2439

Article | Open Access

Bundling Digital Journalism: Exploring the Potential of Subscription-Based Product Bundles

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Abstract:  This study explores the potential of cross-publisher bundled offers as a strategy for increasing subscription sales in digital journalism. While innovative forms of bundling are an integral part of media distribution in music (e.g., Spotify) and film (e.g., Netflix), their adoption in digital journalism has been limited, despite research showing that bundled access to products can increase consumers’ willingness to pay, especially in younger target groups. Against this background, we conduct a choice-based conjoint analysis using data from a representative survey of the German online population (n = 1,542). Results show that bundling digital journalism has the potential to raise publisher revenues and subscription sales in digital markets. In particular, they highlight that a comprehensive, cross-publisher bundled offer, available at a fixed monthly rate, has the potential to stimulate digital journalism sales among different consumer groups in a relatively balanced way, including those who are typically more reluctant towards journalism. These findings align with the principles of information goods economics, which posit that maximising the size of digital content bundles often tends to be the most profitable distribution strategy. However, it is crucial to examine these findings in the context of the potential negative effects associated with this emerging business model in digital journalism, such as the cannibalisation of print subscriptions, diminished brand identification, and a possible imbalanced distribution of revenues.

Keywords:  bundling; choice-based conjoint analysis; collaborative platforms; digital journalism; innovation; market expansion



© Lukas Erbrich, Christian-Mathias Wellbrock, Frank Lobigs, Christopher Buschow. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.