FORTUNE Media, publisher of FORTUNE magazine, is pivoting to a premium model with big changes to how they do business. Last week, the company announced that some content, including in-depth stories, a searchable on-demand video library, proprietary research, and exclusive coverage and analyses will go behind a paywall.
The company’s popular lists including FORTUNE 500, Global 500, 100 Best Companies, and World’s Most Admired Companies will remain in front of the paywall, as will breaking news, sponsored stories, most of the magazine’s newsletters and a selection of other content. Current print magazine subscribers will continue to receive a premium subscription through the end of 2020.
The company is also adding a three-tiered subscription model, originally announced in January:
– Digital Access: For $5 a month, or $49 a year, subscribers will get access to FORTUNE’s online content plus archives and access to the FORTUNE mobile app. (The mobile app is only available to subscribers in the U.S.)
– Access Plus+: For $11 a month, or $99 a year, subscribers will receive digital access, quarterly investment guides, exclusive analyses of FORTUNE 500 and other lists, and home delivery of the redesigned print magazine (for annual subscribers only), featuring in-depth reporting, world-class photography and high-impact graphics.
– Premium: For $22 a month, or $199 a year, subscribers can access the content included with Access Plus+, as well as access to FORTUNE’s searchable premium video library and curated playlists, a weekly proprietary research newsletter, and monthly webinars with FORTUNE journalists and business leaders.
[Editor’s Note: We were not able to access the FORTUNE subscription page via Google Chrome, but we could access it through Firefox.]
“This is another important step on our journey to reinventing FORTUNE for the new century. We’re confident in the value of the award-winning journalism we produce, and we are proud to ask our loyal audiences to help support it,” said Alan Murray, CEO, in a news release.
In a March 4 article titled “Why We Launched a Paywall” by Clifton Leaf, the FORTUNE editor explains the company’s reasoning and invites readers to become subscribers.
“Welcome to FORTUNE. We’re grateful that you found your way to our site. Our journalists are working hard to help you better understand business and the world at large. To accomplish that mission, we’ve been investing ambitiously-to expand our reporting staff, to build a much faster and smarter website, and to extend our reach across more than a dozen in-depth newsletters, as well as a new video portal, mobile app, investment guides, proprietary data analysis, webinars, and more. Indeed, we think our investment is worth your investment-and so we’re inviting you to become a FORTUNE subscriber,” said Leaf.
Magazines face the same struggles that newspaper publishers have faced for more than a decade. They cannot afford to do the same things and expect the same results. They need to carefully evaluate how they do business and redesign their products and services to appeal to a new generation of news consumer. Like so many other publications, FORTUNE is moving to a paywall and tiered subscriptions, offering subscribers a variety of options, based on their specific needs. They have also redesigned their print magazine to try to attract new subscribers and retain existing ones. Only time will tell if this is enough to continue their publication and warrant additional investments in their work, or if additional tweaks are needed, like reducing print frequency or discontinuing print altogether.