Subscription Options

December 13, 2008

Media and the online model

My recent post on the media industry, and Aspermont  in particular got me thinking. Can online subscription buoy a media company for long as we rush towards more and more free (advertiser supported) content?

The Wall Street Journal has 1.06 million online subscribers. Not a bad level, and one that will probably sustain or continue to grow. Why? The brand.

WSJ is the most desirable B2B marketing platform in the world. A look at their traffic shows that they are happy with the "not how many but who" model and it has served them well. Other major brands have also been able to support the online subscription model.

But could you? probably not. Could a small niche player. Maybe, but not for everything, and not to a huge volume of publications.

Breaking into this is going to take, I think, something like an OpenID type approach. One subscription to online technical and industry journals at one price.

Ties down advertisers, ties down subscribers, and provides what we used to think of as extraordinary value.

Maybe Reid media could do this. Or maybe even Aspermont would benefit.

What about an army of like minded bloggers, focusing on business related areas with a very strong background in business and business writing?

Now that is intriguing....