It doesn’t look like The Economist is going to join the growing pack and switch its website further from subscription access to an ad-supported. Economist.com articles older than 365 days are currently behind a pay wall.
Here at our Future Of Business Media conference in New York, Susan Clark, the magazine’s global marketing director and publisher for Europe, Middle East and Africa, said: “We’d like to keep some benefit for our subscribers … just so there are some important value-added elements for subscribers. We think that the free site allows the viral networking effects that will introduce readers to The Economist online, and then perhaps they’ll start reading it in print. Most people I know would not sit down and read the entire Economist online, so I’m not too threatened.”
In recent months, New York Times (NYSE: NYT) dropped its premium subscription feature, The Wall Street Journal under Rupert Murdoch looks set to do the same and The Economist’s Pearson (NYSE: PSO) part-stablemate FT.com has started offering more free, ad-supported stories to non-subscribed members. Lots more FOBM coverage through the day over on paidContent.org and photos coming through on Flickr’s fobm tag.