Ned Desmond toots his horn in a recent Q&A with PaidContent. Desmond is the architect of Time Inc.’s massive effort to throw up paid walls across magazine sites from People Magazine to Business 2.0. Desmond provides ample evidence that this has been good business for Time Inc. That may well be the case in the short run, but longer term (2-3 years) we expect an impressive array of Web-born brands that will be much stronger online than any of the Time brands and will increasingly draw advertising dollars away from the print world.
It’s the classic tale of the big company protecting and smothering its legacy business and great news for legions of Web content entrepreneurs – particularly as other publishing empires like Conde Nast are pursuing similarly proprietary strategies. A recent case-in-point is Marketwatch – a media property already showing it is perhaps more valuable than Fortune or Money. It can’t be long before Gawker Media gets more visitors than People.com. Slate with its shoe-string staff and Instapundit with its staff of one are relentlessly catching up to Time Inc. and its enormous global headcount.
View – Ned Desmond (PaidContent.org)