Sporting News Explains New Pay Model
INBOX: What metrics have led you to believe this can succeed? Do you believe the existing audience for the digital product is more likely to pay for your content than Web audiences generally?
PRICE: We recognize some of our folks that have been free will fall by the wayside. We appreciate their support [up to now], but are focused on folks willing to pay for that experience. As we come out on more devices it will prove the value equation is more than fair.
We did a lot of price sensitivity testing to optimize the opportunity to make something that works for readers. We expect to retain 15 to 35 percent of our audience. We hope it's higher and have aggressively targeted groups we think will adopt the e-reader. People are willing to pay for content on the iPhone and on the Web ... we think they will be willing to pay dime a day to get comprehensive sports news.
INBOX: What are your advertisers' expectations for the change, and how do you pitch the advantages of the new model to them?
PRICE: From an advertiser perspective, the new benefits will be the interactivity we can offer through e-reader devices such as the iPad. ... There's [also] an added value component for those [advertisers] interested in gleaning insights on e-reader devices. Once we get to a number the marketplace has told us [we can attract]–when we get back to 250,000 subscribers becoming paid readers not tied to the [print] magazine, we want to be ready to take advantage of that.