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. â€śItâ€™s obviously a tough industry, but weâ€™ve had a good year in revenue,â€ť says Tim Regan-Porter, Pasteâ€™s president. â€śBut we know that you canâ€™t survive if all you do is print, itâ€™s not even fully serving readers if you just focus on print.â€ť
This latest venture, called Paste Digital VIP, leverages the magazineâ€™s 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 magazineâ€™s entire digital archive, among other perks.
Subscribers to the program are billed quarterly (those that pay for a full year up front get an â€śexclusiveâ€ť t-shirt). So far, says Regan-Porter, the program has hit its break-even point just one week out. â€śWe 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 itâ€™s been above 75 percent.â€ť
Now that the hard costs have been covered, Regan-Porter is taking a wait-and-see approach to any further success. â€śWe donâ€™t know what to expect. The more the better, but it could get too big in terms of giving out all those free albums.â€ť
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.