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Sports Illustrated Tests New Type of Paywall

04 Dec 2013

Sports Illustrated is testing a paywall that lets readers access its print articles early if they watch a 30-second video ad first. The provider has been testing consumers' willingness to watch video ads for free WiFi, music and games. This is its first public test with a major consumer magazine.

With ad dollars under pressure, publishers are looking to consumers to generate revenue, but with so much news and information freely available, paywalls have had mixed success (The Dallas Morning News and San Francisco Chronicle recently dropped theirs). Time Inc. has tried to protect its subscription business by making its print content only available to subscribers when posted online. Like all publishers, it's also wrestling with how to extract more value from its readers and advertisers. To that end, People is trying tiered offers to retain existing customers and lure new ones.

But the advent of tablets and the hope that they would create a new base of paying customers notwithstanding, some readers may never become paying subscribers. The premise of Selectable is that they may pay with their time, though; it's not unlike tactics attempted by Salon and others a decade ago and more recently by Genesis Media.

To read the full Adweek article click here.

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