Let the paid content games begin. In an interview in today’s Telegraph Time Inc.’s CEO Ann Moore says “I think it is time for Time Inc to sit down and seriously think, what is the model? We are going to have to figure out a way to have paid content in the future…Who started this rumor that all information should be free and why didn’t we challenge this when it first came out? I say this in college classrooms and they start to throw their shoes at me. I say, ‘Kids, your food is not free and your cars are not free, your clothes are not free. Good information costs money. Someone has to pay for the Baghdad bureau’.”
Moore adds that Time Inc. is considering whether or not to make Time.com and People.com subscription-based. It will be interesting to see what happens if they do decide to pursue a pay model especially since, even though People is Time Inc.’s top seller and drives huge amounts on traffic only, there is not shortage of free celebrity news. That said, someone will have to start paying, and shortly, and even if online subscriptions are not the answer, they may be enough to stem the ad slump till someone comes up with a more viable solution.