Media Fortune Fame & Folly

Readly grows by 37%

Readly, the Sweden-based digital subscription service, that offers unlimited “all you can read” access to more than 5,000 magazines and newspapers, increased its full-paying subscribers in the first three months of 2021 by 37%.

The company, which IPOd in 2020, is now supported by 900 publishers (+45 in Q1) in over 50 countries with the service operating in 17 languages. It says that newspapers are increasing the level of reader engagement, with more frequent and longer reading sessions: the average monthly reading time of newspapers in the UK had increased by more than 40% in the first quarter.

Founded by Joel Wikell in Sweden in 2012, Readly is now the leading company in digital magazine subscriptions in Europe. Last year, it distributed more than 140,000 issues of magazines that have been read 99m times.  

As publishers seek to leverage digital assets and diversify revenue, Readly helps to increase digital circulations, adding readership to current and back issues – and boosting ABC figures. 

Fundamental to the app’s growing popularity among publishers themselves are the unrivalled levels of data available. Readly holds more than 34bn data points, which can provide publishers with a deeper understanding of their own readers’ behaviour. Publishers and editors can analyse how magazine and newspaper issues are navigated – from what is most interesting to readers, where they spend their time and how often they go back – in order to optimise content and maximise readership.

More than 95% of Readly users are reading titles they had never read before, confirming that it encourages experimentation. In addition, some 20% read titles from countries other than the ones they are in. In addition to expat communities accessing Readly around the world, there is strong appetite for people wanting to read content from elsewhere – with British publications, in particular, benefitting from this trend and attracting new audiences. 

Statista reports that global revenue from digital newspapers and magazines is expected to reach $35bn in 2021. Its forecasts for 2025 are:

  • Revenue of $42.9bn (2021-25 CAGR of 4.64%)
  • 2.2bn user-readers
  • 28.2% user penetration (2021: 23.3%)
  • Average monthly revenue per user of $20.39

Readly’s growth implies that the “all you can read” app may eventually become the primary way to read many magazines and newspapers – as print sales continue their inexorable decline. Changing times.