Rolling Stone finally took control of its website back from RealNetworks (NSDQ: RNWK) last summer — now it’s finally putting the contents of the entire magazine, along with 43 years worth of archives, online. But much of the heretofore print-only content will be behind a paywall. Still, in an interview with paidContent, Steven Schwartz, chief digital officer of Wenner Media, the parent of Rolling Stone, US Weekly and Men’s Journal, said that much of the site will remain free. The change comes amid a long-overdue redesign, which will emphasize social media tools and sharing of content. But for the most part, the changes encompass the goals of founder Jann Wenner, which is to protect the print magazine from being cannibalized by the web.
The “all access” paywall, which debuts today, comes in three flavors: Users can choose a single month pass for $3.95 or an annual all access pass for $2.50 per month/$29.99 per year. A two-year online subscription comes to $1.87 per month/$22.44 per year.
“This is not a case of putting something that existed online behind a paywall, because we