How Ross Levinsohn and Sports Illustrated’s New Premium Membership Model Benefits Its Readers

  • Premium stories, videos, podcasts, and photos.
  • The SI Vault, the magazine’s digital archive that dates back to its first issue.
  • Early access to stories each month.
  • A customized newsletter.
  • Audio versions of select stories.
  • The industry is moving toward paywalls: Even large publishers like Hearst and Condé Nast are implementing paywalls. This model is an affordable way to support content efforts in an ad-free environment that focuses on quality journalism.
  • Readers want better content: In spite of the economic uncertainty caused by the pandemic, readers are consuming more digital content. Although digital content is plentiful, it isn’t always trustworthy or high quality. A paywall allows for premium storytelling from a trusted source on sports journalism.
  • Advertising revenue is too unpredictable: While advertising revenue can be profitable, solely relying on ads opens publishers up to big fluctuations in the market. This isn’t a sustainable model for publishers interested in building long-term legacies, like Sports Illustrated.
  • Ads limit the reader experience: Readers hate ads. Ads get in the way of content, leading to a frustrating and slow experience for readers. In this way, an advertising model limits Sports Illustrated’s ability to tell compelling stories.

--

--

--

Ross Levinsohn is the CEO of The Arena Group and the CEO of Sports Illustrated. He has also held C-level positions with Yahoo! and Fox Interactive Media.

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

The Dilemmas of Shattered Glass

Who Will Become India’s Top News App

WikiTribune: work in progress

How Shaun King Re-invents Journalism

Don’t Be Fooled by Sinclair’s Shell Games

Everything you need to know about Fake News

Four Questions with JoAnn Sciarrino

Podcast Virgins: How To Do It + 10 Reasons Why You Should Be Listening

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Ross Levinsohn

Ross Levinsohn

Ross Levinsohn is the CEO of The Arena Group and the CEO of Sports Illustrated. He has also held C-level positions with Yahoo! and Fox Interactive Media.

More from Medium

EOS Audit+ Blue Paper Hi, I’m Papy Milico a ChallengeDac app user and a community member of…

Tumbling up. Hierarchies and silos, soft skills and remote work, Appalachian music and health.

SEL from the perspective of a high school administrator and counselor

1999 Family Vacation — Part One