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Report on the Google News Initiative Subscriptions Lab Europe 2021

The Art and Science of Experimentation for Growth

The European GNI Subscriptions Lab is a collaborative effort by the Google News Initiative (GNI), the International News Media Association (INMA) and FT Strategies.

This eight-month programme, the second such edition, is designed to help news publishers strengthen their digital subscriptions capabilities and grow reader revenue at a time of significant disruption to traditional advertising business models.

This report focuses on one very important approach that this cohort of publishers learned during the programme, and one that any subscriptions-first digital news publishing organisation must take to build new reader revenue models: the ability to experiment.

The first part of this report, A new approach to experimentation, explains what the Financial Times means by 'experimentation', how it can be the secret weapon of any successful subscriptions-focused digital news publisher, and outlines the four stages of the Financial Times' unique approach.

The second part of this report, Subscriptions Lab Experiment Case Studies, shows how the eight publishers participating in the programme identified ways to grow their reader revenues, began to experiment in these areas, and started to build the governance structures and processes to support a culture of experimentation.

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