Gated Content Now Drives 50% of Salon's Revenues -- Here's How it's Working
When Salon gated off 20% of its site for paying subscribers only in an attempt to keep the wolf from the door back in April 2001, few media (including us) expected the tactic to really make a difference.
Three months later only 12,000 of its more than three million regular monthly visitors had paid up, and the site was out hat-in-hand again looking for investors to keep afloat during the worst of the recession. Subscriptions were not the golden pill that solves all ills.
Three and a half years later we didn't expect to be writing this story. At an estimated $2 million per year in subscription sales plus an additional estimated half a million in Day Pass ad sales, that 20% of gated content is now contributing roughly half of Salon's total income.
If Salon hadn't taken the gating step, it's doubtful they'd still be around today -- despite the goodwill of kindly investors. According to SEC filings for quarter ended Sept 31st, things are still a bit shaky. But for the first time, we've got real hope that the site is entering solid financial ground for the long-term.
We interviewed Senior VP Marketing Patrick Hurley to discover how the site's learned to make subscriptions pay off finally....
Thursday, December 09, 2004