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Salon tightens its belt...
January 31, 2001 1:19 AM   Subscribe

Salon tightens its belt... No surprise there, things are tough all over. But what caught my eye was a quote in paragraph 5 from an industry pundit who said he "hasn't seen any site that can be profitable with a revenue base of less than $15 million per quarter". What future does the web have if every site that creates its own content has to bill $60 million a year?
posted by BGM (12 comments total)

 
You know, if Salon became a (cheap) subscription site tomorrow, I'd pay without a second thought. Sure, I normally wouldn't pay for online content, but I do believe quality is worth paying for... and Salon is better than most print magazines out there! It's like what Time or Newsweek could be if they grew a brain, or the New Yorker if they didn't consider topicality beneath them.
posted by David Gaddis at 3:41 AM on January 31, 2001


The problem with that, Dave, is that they still wouldn't make money. Magazines make their real money from advertisements, and Salon isn't doing so well in that regard. Largely because it is sort of general interest, and companies looking to advertise online are looking for more specialized sites. There's just too much competition out there for a Salon to make it right now.
posted by Doug at 6:37 AM on January 31, 2001


If Salon became a subscription site, I'd join up simply so I could have the satisfaction of e-mailing the editor to say, "Cancel my subscription."

Salon these days seems to have been overrun by a bunch of rather extreme political viewpoints masquerading as objective journalism. Much of the really interesting content they used to post has now been replaced by highly-partisan political apologetics -- mostly leftish with the occasional token extreme right-wing rant from David Horowitz. I still look occasionally to check for new Camille Paglia and Cintra Wilson pieces, but on the whole I won't miss it at all when (not if) they tank.
posted by MrBaliHai at 6:38 AM on January 31, 2001


What future does the web have...

The future is you, buddy. Tell your own damned stories.

I still believe.
posted by ratbastard at 7:20 AM on January 31, 2001


This brings up the question of micropayments once again. Would you be willing to pay a cent (or even half a cent) per page while at Salon? Even if not, I'm sure there are some content sites where you would.

Systems are starting to become available to enable sites to do this, although they're still a bit sketchy.

I think all of this 'registration' and 'sign in' crap is nonsense though. The New York Times persists in making people register for their site (they used to let non-US hosts in without this - not now).. and as such, whenever I've clicked on a link to one of their stories, I always just close the browser when I see all of that registration crap. Thus, I (and no doubt, many others) never get to read their site because of their bureaucratic nonsense.
posted by wackybrit at 8:37 AM on January 31, 2001


If you want to go read the NY Times, just use Metafilter0 as your user ID, and Metafilter as the password. I hate to see someone left out in the cold.

Although I still don't see why people are so adamant about not registering. It makes the site feel good to have many members. I'll join two or three times.

Oh yeah, I used wackybrit's e-mail address when I signed up.


posted by Jart at 10:52 AM on January 31, 2001


Salon these days seems to have been overrun by a bunch of rather extreme political viewpoints masquerading as objective journalism

I was never under the impression that Salon was delivering "objective journalism," but maybe I missed something. It always seemed to me to be a site devoted to publishing some strong viewpoints on controversial issues as well as bringing up topics that aren't covered anywhere else. That's a pretty useful site, even if you disagree with every single thing they say. It's always a good thing to hear the other points of view.
posted by daveadams at 10:54 AM on January 31, 2001


[Salon] always seemed to me to be a site devoted to publishing some strong viewpoints on controversial issues as well as bringing up topics that aren't covered anywhere else.

Which is why I almost always find a few things worth reading at the site every day. What a boring world it would be if everyone only read things they already agreed with. What's the point of reading, if you're not going to be educated or at the very least entertained?
posted by kindall at 11:57 AM on January 31, 2001


Although I still don't see why people are so adamant about not registering. It makes the site feel good to have many members.

That is why I am so adamant about not registering. I'm not here to make them feel good. I'm not here to pad their member rolls. They shouldn't have member rolls in the first place. Membership is the wrong approach, and I want to discourage them from continuing it.

-Mars
posted by Mars Saxman at 2:01 PM on January 31, 2001


Advertising on the web isn't profitable right now unless your site is immense and it will probably take a year of two for it to get profitable....

Most sites on networks are getting $1 per cpm (1000 impressions). Well let's say you are a "successful" site. Maybe you pull 10k uniques per day....Then we'll estimate 30k impressions per day. For that..you're making less than a thousand dollars a month....

John Hawkins
http://www.brassknuckles.net


posted by Archfiend at 4:09 PM on January 31, 2001


Membership is the wrong approach, and I want to discourage them from continuing it.

Don't suppose you have any magazine subscriptions, do you?
posted by kindall at 4:40 PM on January 31, 2001


On the couple of occasions that I've looked at salon it just seemed like more opinion porn.
posted by davidgentle at 12:44 AM on February 1, 2001


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