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Case Study

November 23, 2023

4 min read

The Manila Times x Fewcents: Unlocking New Revenue Streams and Doubling Subscriptions

Discover how The Manila Times doubled its subscriptions and unlocked new revenue streams by integrating Fewcents, overcoming challenges in monetizing archived content without impacting ad revenues.

“We are excited to see the success of micro-payments on The Manila Times website. Fewcents gives us valuable data to understand what content users are willing to pay for, and has helped us expand our subscription business."

Dante “Klink” Ang 2nd

Chairman and CEO, The Manila Times

The Challenge

The Manila Times, the Philippines' esteemed English-language daily since 1898, has played a significant role in the development of the Filipino media industry. Since its first publication, it has evolved and adapted to the changing landscape and now has print and digital editions, covering a wide range of topics. Their website is mostly an advertising-supported platform, with a subscription required to access articles older than 6 months. They were looking for a solution that would help them balance advertising and paid content; they wanted to be able to grow their reader revenue from paid content and improve their subscription signups, without cannibalizing their existing advertising revenues. In addition, they were doubtful that their readers would be willing to pay for individual content, but were interested to test this hypothesis.

How Fewcents Helped

The Manila Times implemented the Fewcents Wall on three types of content, and technical integration of the Fewcents Wall was simple:

Archived Content

Fewcents Wall was implemented on 6 month archived content. It offered readers two choices: pay for individual content pieces or opt for a full subscription. By only attracting those who wanted specific content, this was a low-risk way to test the paywall and also gauge advertising revenue impact

Entire "Opinion" Section

As a second experiment, Fewcents Wall was implemented on all content within the Opinion Section, and this became the testing space for understanding users payment patterns and discerning the content's value

Mobile Web

Based on the observation that mobile web had negligible subscription conversions, as a third experiment, they showed Fewcents Wall more aggressively on mobile web

User-Friendly Integration

With ‌easy login and multiple local payment options, readers could quickly unlock the content they were interested in

What We Achieved Together

The Fewcents Wall integration exceeded the expectations of The Manila Times team, and provided impressive results.

No Cannibalization of Ads

Despite paywall implementation, their content continued to generate healthy advertising RPMs. There was no adverse impact on advertising revenues

Growth of Subscriptions

Overall subscriptions have gone up 2x since implementing Fewcents, proving that giving users increased choice allows them to make the best decisions for themselves

Incremental Revenue

The Fewcents Wall began generating incremental revenue, as users were actively paying for individual articles. Paid users via Fewcents were 5x times subscriptions, and added incremental yield over ads. As a result, paywall coverage was expanded to cover any content that is older than 1 month old

More First Party Data

Fewcents now accounts for 57% of first party data collected by The Manila Times. The other sources of first party data are newsletter signups and subscriptions

Identifying Quality Content with Analytics

Data on content conversions is helping to drive informed decisions about editorial content and pricing

Better Conversions on Mobile Web

Making Fewcents more visible on mobile web resulted in transaction rates increasing by 2.8x


Fewcents and The Manila Times collaboration debunked the myth that Filipinos wouldn't pay for individual digital content. The results showcased that when presented with a choice, readers are willing to invest in quality content. Pay per content helps to increase subscriptions, and generates a high volume of valuable first party data. This partnership also demonstrated the synergy between maintaining healthy ad revenues while introducing a paid content model, with The Archive strategy proving to be a great way for a Publisher to get started on a low risk journey of generating incremental revenue from paid content. Encouraged by the success, The Manila Times is experimenting with the Fewcents Wall on more categories, to grow overall revenue. They are using first party data and other usage data to build direct relationships with their users, and create a more robust subscription strategy. Lastly, they are also exploring Fewcents Sponsorships to further grow conversions.

“The Manila Times’ data driven approach of starting Fewcents on archives, then using data to expand Fewcents and subscriptions to other content is a low-risk yet effective strategy to build a reader revenue business."

Dushyant Khare

Co-Founder, Fewcents

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