Web traffic and subscriptions at NewYorker.com are way, way up ever since the magazine put up a new paywall a few months ago. Editor Nicholas Thompson attributes the sudden increase in eyeballs and dollars to the simple fact that, “The main strategy for growing audience is to publish more, better stories.”
Columnist Benjamin Mullin takes the New Yorker’s success apart today on the Poynter Web site that monitors global journalistic trends and news.
Web publishers have always fallen into two broad categories:
- those who publish great content, often, and draw attention by the quality of their thinking and writing;
- those who try to game the system with SEO gimmicks, phony keywords, and disingenuousness
I suppose you could add salaciousness to the list but I prefer not to include that category under the rubric of “publisher.” They are more purveyors.
So the pay-to-read model continues to gain traction and momentum, as good writing, reporting and insight is rewarded once again. It’s not quite a trend yet, but it’s something to keep an eye on. At least it’s no longer appropriate to knee-jerk reject any suggestion that paying for content is a viable business model.
Way to go, New Yorker!