Salon watch

Going through some old journal entries, I found an entry from about a year ago about Salon's financial status, which led me to look at their recent press releases to see how they're doing now.

They're still losing over a million dollars per quarter, though their net loss for this past year was 30% less than their net loss from the preceding year. So I suppose they're gradually headed toward profitability—but at their current rate, it'll still be years before they stop losing money.

I once read somewhere that a new print magazine is expected to take about ten years to reach profitability. Salon was launched in 1996; maybe this means that if they can hold on for another three years, they just might make it.

They've currently got 62,000 paying Salon Premium subscribers; that's a 71% subscription-renewal rate from the previous year's 44,000 subscribers, plus 31,000 new subscribers in the past year. I have no idea how that renewal rate compares to print magazines, but overall they have 42% more subscribers than they had a year ago, which sounds pretty darn respectable to me. I admit that I was awfully dubious about their chances of survival when they switched to the subscription model; I'm pleased to have been wrong about readers' willingness to pay for web content.

Oh, and entirely unrelatedly, Cory Doctorow has a new story at Salon: "Truncat." Set in the world of Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom.

One Response to “Salon watch”

  1. Nick Mamatas

    Salon also slashed its freelance rates to a base of $200 per article, which is shockingly low, a couple of years ago.

    It could easily save money though, just by shutting down its Manhattan and SF offices, and moving them to Jersey City and Oakland respectively. They could also stop paying for the publisher’s annual 24 year-old girlfriend (he dumps them as soon as they turn 25), some of whom have even held “staff” positions at the magazine, in addition to fancy hotel stays, airline tickets, etc., all on the corporate card’s dime.


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