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The Guardian reaches one million digital subscriptions milestone

The Guardian says it has surpassed 1 million digital subscriptions, with digital subscriptions in the US and Australia rising by 13% year on year.

The Guardian reaches one million digital subscriptions milestone
Katharine Viner: “It is a tribute to the deep connection we have with readers that so many have chosen to support us without the imposition of a paywall.”

The company says it has grown its total digital recurring support by 87% in just three years.

At the end of November 2021, the Guardian reported a total of 1,000,035 digital subscriptions, comprising 419,541 digital subscriptions and 580,494 recurring contributions from supporters in 180 countries around the world.

(‘Digital subscriptions’ and ‘digital recurring support’ refers to total recurring contributions, memberships, patrons, and paid digital subscriptions to the Guardian’s smartphone and iPad editions.)

Just over 50% of the Guardian’s digital recurring support base – more than 500,000 subscriptions – now reside outside of the UK, with the biggest groups in the US, Australia and the European Union. The Guardian’s international revenues grew by 26% in FY 2020-21, (up from 25% in the prior year) representing more than 30% of the publisher’s total revenue.

  • In the 12 months to the end of November 2021, the Guardian also received 476,006 single contributions from readers across the world. Half of all single contributions in the past year came from the US.
  • The news publisher has 114,251 print subscriptions across the Guardian, the Observer and Guardian Weekly.
  • Including print subscribers and single contributions, people have supported the Guardian financially nearly 1.6 million times in the last 12 months.

According to the publishers, major investigations including the Pegasus Project and Pandora Papers, the Guardian’s 200th anniversary, its climate pledge and coverage of the global coronavirus outbreak have all been significant drivers of reader support in 2021.

The Guardian says it is reaping the benefits from its global digital expansion. Launched in 2013, Guardian Australia has grown to become the fifth most popular news website in the country, with a monthly audience of more than 7 million. Guardian US has an influential position in the US media landscape and recently celebrated its 10th birthday. US traffic now accounts for 30% of the Guardian’s global audience.

Katharine Viner, editor-in-chief, Guardian News & Media said: “Six years since we first asked readers to contribute financially to support Guardian journalism, the strategy has been brilliantly successful. It is a tribute to the deep connection we have with readers that so many have chosen to support us without the imposition of a paywall.

“Thank you to Guardian readers around the world for helping to keep our journalism open and available to all, not just those who can afford it.”

Keith Underwood, interim chief executive, Guardian Media Group, said: “Reaching one million digital subscriptions shows the strength of the Guardian’s quality journalism, of our trusted brand, and of our business model. We have achieved so much thanks to the support of readers worldwide and the dedication of our staff.

“Looking ahead, we plan to continue to transform the business with investment to sustainably expand our global reach, readership and revenue.”

Paul Kanareck, chief customer and commercial officer, Guardian Media Group, said: “The Guardian has led the way with a highly innovative approach to engagement that recognises our unique relationship with readers.

“The challenge ahead is to continue to engage and retain even more readers from all over the world as we reach ever greater scale. We will continue to invest in order to evolve and expand our supporter offering, to keep pace with the changing needs and habits of our global community of readers.”

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