CBSMarketWatch, Maxim, and Playboy Execs on Time Inc.'s Paid Online Content Move

In the current edition of the M.10 report, Ned Desmond, executive editor of Time Inc. Interactive, called offering free online content a “shabby proposition.” M.10 now gives response from CBS MarketWatch Founder and CEO Larry Kramer, Maxim Online General Manager Roger Munford, and Playboy Online VP of Marketing & E-Commerce Mike Sprouse. Excerpts:

    Kramer: “These guys aren’t really approaching the Internet as a new medium, they’re looking at it as a way to leverage existing products. I can understand where they’re coming from because they’re offering products of existing media brands for which they charge and it’s a tough idea that they would give away what they charge for in a different medium.”

    Munford: “There are certain niche areas, such as financial analysis, where paid access makes perfect sense. But mass media is so competitive, I’d rather have consumers come in, look around and see what we’ve got. I can understand paying $19 to get a weekly financial newsletter but paying $2 or $3 for an individual story just isn’t appealing.”

    Sprouse: “I agree with the way Time Inc. is trending as far as giving extra benefit to their magazine subscribers and using a subscriber model for retention. However, the ideology of how we operate is that the Web site functions as a separate end destination from the magazine. There is very little crossover between the audience for the print magazine and”