Paste Launches 'VIP Subscriber' Program
Georgia-based music magazine rolls out digital content subscription offer.
Decatur, Georgia-based music magazine Paste has been busy rolling out a number of strategic initiatives over the last 12 months. Beginning in fall 2007, it experimented with a name-your-price subscription effort, launched an ad network in September this year, and now has introduced a premium digital content subscription offer.
The six-year old magazine appears to be stiff-arming a tough market for music magazines. Earlier this year there was a minor spate of independent music magazine shutdowns. âItâs obviously a tough industry, but weâve had a good year in revenue,â says Tim Regan-Porter, Pasteâs president. âBut we know that you canât survive if all you do is print, itâs not even fully serving readers if you just focus on print.â
This latest venture, called Paste Digital VIP, leverages the magazineâs digital platform by making premium content available for a $3.95 per month subscription. Included in the package are albums, DVD samplers, MP3 collections, 11 digital editions of the magazine, and VIP subscriber-only access to the magazineâs entire digital archive, among other perks.
Subscribers to the program are billed quarterly (those that pay for a full year up front get an âexclusiveâ t-shirt). So far, says Regan-Porter, the program has hit its break-even point just one week out. âWe have a minimum we need to make it worthwhile and we got that within a day after the first email went to the subscriber list. It was surprising how many subscribed to the annual subscription. For the past week itâs been above 75 percent.â
Now that the hard costs have been covered, Regan-Porter is taking a wait-and-see approach to any further success. âWe donât know what to expect. The more the better, but it could get too big in terms of giving out all those free albums.â
The 180,000-circ magazine had similar success with its name-your-price subscription effort, ultimately signing up 33,000 subscriptions, 28,000 of which were new business.
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