(LA Times, registration required.) Salon clings to dot-com swagger: ..... Now in what may be a last-ditch effort to stay alive, Salon is about to dramatically change its business model. The company is expected to announce this week that it will require all readers to either buy a subscription for full access to stories or agree to click through several screens of advertising to gain limited access. (Salon instituted a limited-subscription option a couple years ago that made some content available to subscribers only.) "There's no free lunch on the Web anymore," Talbot says. "There's no viable media without developing a base of revenue."
And that change will probably complete the job of killing off Salon. They haven't been successful at drawing enough subscribers and advertisers to pay their costs. Now they're going to change their model to, "Buy a subscription, or we're going to annoy the hell out of you AND not give you the full content, either!" The people who haven't bought subscriptions thus far, who may or may not have been teetering on the edge, are highly unlikely to do so with an appeal to nuisance.Posted by iain at January 21, 2003 11:59 AM
They're failing to implement a simple but crucial business strategy:
Don't suck so much.Posted by Ian Wood at January 21, 2003 12:30 PM
Posted by Michael Farris at January 21, 2003 01:03 PM
It makes me sad and I know it's de rigeur(sp?) to ridicule Salon now, but I remember when itrocked. For a long time it was the only decent magazine of its kind. But ever since it's tried to pay for itself it's just been floundering with a horrible combination of clashing business models.
Yeah, they're definitely caught between the proverbial rock and hard place. I read them for about two weeks past the inauguration of their subscription-based revenue model, and no only go back out of morbid curiousity. It's a shame, 'cause they used to be tits.Posted by Mike at January 21, 2003 08:48 PM
and then there's this:Posted by mike at January 21, 2003 08:53 PM