Selling exclusivity IDG's new Macworld Insider Web service offers users benefits and conveniences

©IDG Communications, Inc. Photo contributed by Matthew Mikaelian.

Media Business, 10/11/10

In an effort to monetize its online content, IDG Germany in 2000 “gated” about 25% of the content for German versions of Macworld.com and PCWorld.com, and started charging users $52 (U.S.) for full access to the websites.

The audiences were not happy with the move.

“It took us a year to say “that was probably not the greatest idea since the invention of sliced bread,’ so we changed the model,” said Stephan Scherzer, VP-general manager, online at Macworld (U.S.), who was group publisher, Consumer Group, IDG Germany.

IDG dismantled the firewalls and proceeded to introduce a premium service offering subscribers access to special features and archived material, and for advertisers, new types of sponsorships. The switch paid off. “We added a substantial line of additional revenue to the [Macworld.com and PCWorld.com properties]” in Europe, Scherzer said.

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