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August 15, 2023updated 16 Aug 2023 10:04am

Telegraph Media Group hits one million subscriptions

More than 70% of the subscriptions are digital.

By Bron Maher

Telegraph Media Group says it has hit its target of reaching one million subscriptions before the end of 2023.

It has become the third UK national newspaper company to reach a major one million milestone, after The Guardian and Financial Times which reached a million paying readers online in December 2021 and March 2022 respectively.

TMG, which publishes The Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph, said that more than 70% of the one million subscriptions are digital and that “subscriber engagement is at a record high, with circa 300,000 of our subscribers now using our app each day”.

It was helped on the way to the target by its acquisition of Chelsea Magazine Company in March. In June, 207,876 TMG subscriptions were for CMC or the Telegraph Wine Cellar or Telegraph Puzzles products.

TMG said the figures are being independently audited by consultancy PwC and will be formally released in October.

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Chief executive Nick Hugh said: “We set an ambitious goal for ourselves in 2018 and I am thrilled we have surpassed this milestone.

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“As we look to the future, we will continue to grow our subscriptions, develop our subscriber community and set new records for the Telegraph.”

Hugh had said in May that subscription volumes were “just a shade under a million… four or five years ago that was less than 300,000, so that’s a great number for us”.

Telegraph staffers posted pictures from within the newsroom showing the words “1 million subscriptions” and “We did it thanks to all of you” projected onto a wall.

And TMG posted a GIF on the top of its corporate website reading: “1M subscriptions by 2023. We did it. Here’s to the future.”

Telegraph subscription milestone gif celebration
TMG’s website displays a gif celebrating its one million subscription milestone. Picture: TMG screenshot

In common with other news outlets pursuing digital subscriptions, The Telegraph has been marketing subscriptions at steeply discounted prices. Without discounting, a digital Telegraph subscription costs £189 a year.

Digital subscriptions have become a valuable consistent revenue stream for news organisations grappling with declining print circulations and volatile online advertising markets.

News Corp’s annual report last week showed The Wall Street Journal had hit 3.4 million digital subscribers, Barron’s crossed the one million mark and The Times and Sunday Times climbed 11% year-on-year to 565,000.

The free-to-read Guardian’s one million mark was comprised of 419,541 digital subscriptions and 580,494 recurring contributions.

The New York Times’ “bundle”-focused digital subscription strategy has seen it reach more than ten million digital subscribers, the most of any publisher in the world.

The Telegraph has not yet disclosed how many individual subscribers, rather than subscriptions, it has.

The Telegraph is set to go up for auction in the coming months after Lloyds Banking Group seized TMG and The Spectator from their proprietors, the Barclay family. The Barclays had struggled to service a debt reportedly as large as £1bn which they owed to the bank.

Mail publisher DMGT and regional newspaper business National World have in recent days become the first companies to publicly declare an interest in acquiring TMG.

[Read more: Who reads The Telegraph? Reader demographics broken down]

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Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
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