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Time Inc. Mulls Making Time, People Sites Subscription-Based

Publisher eyes paid content online.

By Jason Fell

As the sustainability of free content online continues to be debated, Time Inc. CEO Ann Moore said the mega publisher is considering taking a major step in the paid content direction: by making and subscription-based.

"I think it is time for Time Inc. to sit down and seriously think, what is the model," Moore [pictured] told England's Telegraph newspaper. "We are going to have to figure out a way to have paid content in the future."

A company spokesperson declined to comment on Time Inc.'s online revenue. posted roughly 30 million page views in mid-December, after Barack Obama was announced Time’s 2008 Person of the Year. Meanwhile, in 2008 reported 46 percent year-over-year growth (compared with the industry average of about 10 percent), including an average of 8.6 million monthly uniques—a 36 percent increase year-over-year.

The spokesperson told FOLIO: that paid content is one of several alternative revenue sources the company is considering. “If we did have a paid content area online, it would just be for select content—a majority of content on Time Inc. sites will remain free,” the spokesperson said.  “We're also looking at devices like e-readers which obviously have both a subscription and advertising stream as well as micro-payments for things like select iPhone applications.”

By Jason Fell


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