Converting Readers at a Click

How Der Spiegel turns readers into paying customers with the help of Opinary polls.

Der Spiegel Online seeks innovative strategies to enhance the attractiveness of its premium content offering, ‘Spiegel Plus’, with the ultimate aim of boosting subscription revenue. The goal is to transform its digital subscription service into a robust revenue stream that complements advertising revenues
In 2023, a survey revealed that 54% of users in Germany are unwilling to pay for news. This sentiment poses a significant challenge for news publishers like Der Spiegel Online, as it complicates efforts to attract new subscribers and increase revenue streams.
*Reuters Digital News Report, 2023
Opinary’s polling technology engages readers by embedding contextual polls within articles, transforming active participants into valuable sources of user-declared 1st-party data, as well as driving subscriptions, signups, and revenue. Upon casting their vote, participants are rewarded for their input and receive an exclusive offer: a four-week complimentary subscription to ‘Spiegel Plus’. With a single click on the ‘Start Free Month’ call-to-action, users are directed to a straightforward signup page, simplifying and enhancing the appeal of registering for ‘Spiegel Plus’.

Try it for yourself!

Thanks to Opinary, Spiegel Online is generating about 1,500 trial subscriptions per month.
From April to October 2019, 7% of those trial subscribers converted into a full paid subscription.
As a secondary benefit of incorporating Opinary polls, Der Spiegel observed a 52% uptick in time spent on site for articles featuring these polls.

The cooperation with Opinary is worthwhile for many reasons – both from a journalistic and an economic point of view, it brings extremely useful insights. The high commitment of our readers shows us that the widgets satisfy a genuine need and provide added value in terms of content – both for our readers and for our newsroom.

At the same time, we can use the widgets for profit by offering our readers a test subscription for our digital paid offering in a moment of interaction. This works quite well and has provided us with new insights on how to build a closer relationship with our readers.

Christina Elmer,
Deputy Development Manager,


It’s time to start asking the right questions

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