Time Magazine gets it wrong…so wrong.


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“Abridged” versions online?  What a bad idea for the online reader and the publisher. Instead of full stories, Time Magazine’s online readers get an abridged version (a puny little paragraph) followed by three possible upsell suggestions:

  1. You can buy the issue on the iPad… that’s helpful, thank you, when I am currently reading the article on a clunky old PC and needed yet one more reminder that my digital world is limited
  2. You can buy a Time Magazine subscription… why would I buy a print subscription when I am currently consuming the content online… yes, that would be great, please mail me the magazine so I can read the full article in 7-10 days
  3. Or you can buy a digital Time Magazine subscription… but I only care about this one article, I don’t want a whole subscription… so why not make a few bucks by allowing me to just pay for the article… or how ’bout a day pass where I might discover more of your great content and possibly consider subscribing to the digital version?

No, that makes way too much sense.

You can’t pay to read the contents of the current issue of Time online. Boggles the mind. Or as paidContent indelicately put it, “What the Time Inc. flagship did was slip on the magazine equivalent of a condom, a barrier between online readers and the full content of the magazine.”  It’s painful.  And if I had to guess, expensive.  Why would Time pay editors to abridge every story?  If that’s the route they’re going, why not just throw up a pay wall? 

Or here’s an idea… dismiss the notion of channels altogether and create one subscription to all content regardless of platform.  Even better, abandon the notion that online subscribers require an advertising free zone.  Remove barriers, invite advertisers, lower the price, and everybody wins. 

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Julie Baker
Executive VP of Digital Media Solutions at Quaero, Julie is a seasoned digital media executive with experience leading the development of platforms, solutions, and professional services teams required to serve the complex and dynamic media industry. Julie earned her master's degree in advertising and business administration from the University of Texas and her bachelor's degree in journalism and business from Indiana University.


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