Bitch Media is a feminist media organization with a global audience of 6 million, providing and encouraging an engaged feminist response to mainstream media. It publishes in print with Bitch: Feminist Response to Pop Culture, online, on the air with weekly podcasts and on campuses around the world. Most readers are American; 70 percent of readers are between the ages of 18 and 34 and 69 percent are female.
Bitch Media will test whether its audience converts to sustaining membership at higher rates when the audience can engage by submitting or voting on coverage recommendations to Bitch Media. The experiment will use Hearken, a new digital tool that allows audience members to submit questions or vote on questions they would like the publication to address, and organizes the data in a scalable way.
This usage will test whether those who engage via Hearken will convert to sustaining members at a higher rate than those who do not. Currently, Bitch Media’s sustaining members generate 21.5 percent of its annual income, but represent less than 1 percent of its total audience. By testing Hearken on their audience, Bitch Media aims to grow its 2016 membership by nearly 10 percent, with additional revenues of $52,000.
Judges found this a strong, well-thought-out and specific experiment. While a number of outlets are testing Hearken, Bitch Media proposes a very focused and measured test that can produce findings useful across many nonprofit media. The project integrates Hearken well in its membership and business development strategies and operations.