View Full Version : TimeWarner Mags charging for online viewing

Mr Jim
03-27-2003, 08:18 PM
Nooooooo! One of my fave sites Entertainment Weekly (ew.com) is among the slew of 14 timewarner magazines that is switching to allowing only AOL members and/or subscribers and newstand customers to view their site. Among the other sites is People.com and Time.com. Go here (http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story2&u=/nm/20030328/media_nm/media_time_people_entertainmentweekly_dc&e=9&ncid=762) for more info.

Now I'm all for paying to read all the articles but I must say reading an excerpt or a review makes me much more likely to pick up a copy. Do you think it's a good way to pick up customers or just alienating potential ones?

Jonathan Chance
03-27-2003, 08:59 PM
I think somehow, someway, the web is going to have to begin paying for itself.

Having been in this particular fray for a while I can pretty safely say that advertising isn't going to do it.

I'm still in mourning because the Baseball Prospectus is charging this year.

03-27-2003, 09:01 PM
OTOH, EW is pretty damn cheap for subscribers.

03-27-2003, 11:34 PM
Well, I imagine that web usage has hit a critical mass where AOL-Time Warner is losing money by putting the stories from the magazines out on the web for free.

I worked at AOL for a while in the NOC. Ads really don't bring in that much money. The largest part of the revenue comes from subscriptions. Since AOL is a company with the goal to make money giving stuff away for free is not the best business model.

Remember, AOL Time Warner spends huge amounts of money[#1] on writing, posting and delievering these stories online.


#1. When I was in the NOC I dealt with issues that cost millions of dollars. In fact I had to email all the VP's and Mr. Case when the revenue impact was over a million dollars. I sent a bunch of emails out.

03-27-2003, 11:38 PM
(NOC? vas ist das?)

03-27-2003, 11:53 PM
Sorry, Network Operation Center=NOC. Basically it was the control center for keeping, at that time, 11,000 + servers, routers, switches and other equipment up and running. There were three football field sized room stacked with servers and other hardware in the building. Keeping that much hardware up and running takes a lot of work and money.

Right before I left AOL they started building a $300 million data center to back up the NOC and the computer rooms in the Reston building.

The point is that keeping sites up and running is not a cheap thing to do.


Psi Cop
03-28-2003, 12:17 AM
There's a picture of the NOC on this (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A17754-2003Mar12.html) page, a Washington Post story on spam. The picture doesn't really give the place justice, though. The NOC at AOL is truly an impressive place for those who have a chance to see it in full.

-Psi Cop

03-28-2003, 08:29 AM
I've been waiting for this to happen for some time. I expect the internet to go the way of cable tv, where you pay for everything -- magazines, usenet, chat boards like this, etc. How long before you have to subscribe to the SDMB before you can post? And how many of us would still be here after that?

It was great while it lasted though.

Mr Jim
03-28-2003, 08:37 AM
Originally posted by SmackFu
OTOH, EW is pretty damn cheap for subscribers.

I'm sure I could afford it but who could afford all 14 (or even a few) mags? Just makes me sad cause AOL isn't even available in my area as it is and even if it was, being canadian I kind of prefer supporting canuck ISP's. I'm not denying the need to make money just wishing there was another alternative.

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