One of the publishing world’s biggest companies announced a massive shake-up yesterday, 23 January. Conde Nast — which publishes everything from tech magazine Wired to the self-explanatory House & Garden — will be putting all its digital properties behind virtual paywalls by the end of 2019.
It follows a wider trend as more and more publishers seek to extract enough revenue to survive in a media world where readers — and increasingly, viewers — expect content to be free at the point of use.
Several of Conde Nast’s titles are already semi-locked by paywalls; most It’s Nice That readers will know just how gut-wrenching it can be when you hit your allotted amount of free New Yorker articles for the month.
The Wall Street Journal quotes Conde Nast’s chief revenue and marketing officer Pamela Drucker Mann as saying: “When you put a price tag on something, that must mean you have confidence in the product.”
WSJ reports that 2017 saw Conde Nast as posting losses of $120 million, and notes that the paywall implementation is part of its drive to return to profitability by 2020.
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