2021 Digital Publishing Consumer Survey

Prioritizing audience engagement and loyalty used to be essential to a publisher’s success. Now, it’s vital for their survival. Publishers need new ways to take back control of their audiences and build 1:1 relationships with subscribers. That can seem daunting, especially when it comes to Gen Z and Millennials (GZM).

Learn how to engage those digital natives in this ebook.


The 2021 annual consumer survey examines how these digital natives consume information, and their attitudes about trust, personalization and advertising.



Publishers can grow audiences by emphasizing their trustworthiness.

GZM are far more confident in the credibility of content on publishers’ websites than they are of social content. But it isn’t going to happen through social because GZMs are skeptical of what they see there and won’t share content. Instead, publishers need to build 1:1 relationships with subscribers by bringing them directly to their site and leveraging their credibility.

Email continues to be a trusted channel by consumers — and that trust gets stronger with each year.



Email: Very Much Alive and Well

Our longitudinal data gathered over the last few years shows that GZM are still very much using email, and they would sign up for multiple, top-focused newsletters from a trusted publisher.

Gen Z and Millennials say they want personalized content based on their behavior and interests.



There’s a strong demand for personalized web content.

GZM users want more authentic personalized web experiences and emails: over half say they want to receive personalized emails from publishers they trust. They are more likely to subscribe to an email
newsletter if they know the content will be
personalized to their interests. 

Trust in the publisher translates to trust in the advertisers featured in their content.


Conveyed trust drives revenue.

Nearly 3 out of 4 say they’d rather see ads and get free content than to pay for it. And for publishers who worry that inserting ads in email newsletters will offend subscribers or escalate unsubscribes, good news: nearly 2/3 say they’re not bothered by or don’t even notice the ads.

conveyed trust stat

Read the full survey report