The Sun: After two-and-a-half years, The Sun dropped its paywall last December. The publisher said it wasn’t attracting enough readers, and its 250,000 subscribers weren’t enough to justify the paywall. As of May 2016, The Sun had over 35 million online visitors, more than double its December 2015 count of 17 million visitors. According to Business Insider, the paywall and lack of unique content were holding back The Sun. Now that it is running a solely ad-supported model, doubling its traffic in six months is a big step in the right direction. Will the numbers hold?
Angie’s List: Earlier this year, Angie’s List announced that it was abandoning its membership model to “bring in a new era of growth and profitability.” The paywall is finally down, said Small Biz Trends. Instead of charging visitors a $40 annual fee to join the online review site, reviews and ratings are now free. While this will result in a loss of membership revenue, the company believes its user base will grow dramatically, both in terms of reviewers and home service providers who want to be listed. Other changes are on the horizon under new CEO Scott Durchslag who joined Angie’s List last fall to turn the company’s finances around. Will the changes be enough or too little, too late?
Gannett: Undeterred by Tribune Publishing’s (now tronc) rejection of its purchase offer, Gannett Co., the country’s largest newspaper chain, continues its plans to expand its empire. Its latest acquisition is The (Bergen) Record, a family-owned newspaper serving Bergen County, New Jersey, said NorthJersey.com. This acquisition positions Gannett to be “the leading news provider in the state of New Jersey,” according to Robert Dickey, president and CEO of Gannett. Who will Gannett target next?
Time Inc.: We’ve covered this major media company many times, most recently in relation to its digital magazine acquisitions of xoJane and xoVain to attract millennials and the company’s survival after its spin-off from Time Warner. The latest news is that Time Inc. is planning a significant reorganization to generate more non-print revenue from videos, live events, and collaborations with advertisers, said the Wall Street Journal.
Additional changes, including possible staff layoffs, will happen on Rich Battista’s watch who joined Time Inc. in 2015 as executive vice president of Time Inc. and president of People and Entertainment Weekly. Like so many other companies, Time Inc. is trying compensate for revenue losses in newsstand and print advertising sales. Will another reorganization make a difference?
Microsoft: Amazon and Apple have been in the news a lot lately, but Microsoft has been quiet in comparison. Bill Gates’ baby is back in the news this week with rumblings that Windows 10, which is celebrating its one-year anniversary, may be going the subscription route. The news isn’t official, of course, nor did it come from Microsoft. Instead, the rumor is based on an analysis of the latest preview builds of Windows 10, reported ZDNet.
The files include one called UpgradeSubscription.exe, which has experts speculating that Microsoft is going to make Windows 10 a subscription product. Microsoft denies the rumor, saying “this binary file is not associated with the free consumer upgrade offering nor is it applicable to consumer Windows editions.”