The Economist suggests that magazine companies’ online content sites should help drive sales of weekly magazines, because that’s where the real money is made:
As the weaker publications struggle, though, the strongest ones are expanding boldly into new platforms and products. People has launched an iPhone application and its website receives 13m unique visitors per month, according to comScore, a research firm. Its empire includes a fashion portal, a Spanish-language magazine, a country issue, puzzle books and a pets website, all written in the same reassuring style.
However far-flung their operations, celebrity publishers know they must drive traffic to the weekly magazine, where the real money is still to be made. The best websites offer titbits, updates and quotes. When it comes to longer articles and scoops, though, online readers are firmly steered to the news-stand with notes that begin, “To find out more…”. Janice Min, the editor-in-chief of Us Weekly, reckons the content of her magazine and its associated website overlap by no more than 15%. “Why would you post your entire cover story online?” she asks