Late last month, new head of Conde Nast's Vanity Fair - Radhika Jones - set up a paywall.
The structure is for three free articles in a month. After that, readers can pony up about $20 for a 15 month subscription. That includes three free months. Other goodies go along with the deal.
This represents a major risk for Vanity Fair.
What it covers and how is not unique. Frugal readers still determined to have a free ride can scan the Vanity Fair's headlines, then find similar content with a similar tone somewhere on the internet.
In addition, the brand is no longer hot. What is hot is The New Yorker with its Ronan Farrow exposes. So far, that media outlet has delivered major brand hits to the reputations of film maker Harvey Weinstein, superlawyer David Boies, and law-and-order player Eric Schneiderman. Yesterday, of course as everyone knows, the latter resigned.
What also puts Vanity Fair in peril is that it fails to engage readers personally. Its signature is its aloof persona. That is in contrast to much of digital-only media such as Abovethelaw.com. In the glutted legal media space Abovethelaw.com thrives.
Will Vanity Fair be in existence in five years? I doubt it. The entire House of Conde Nast could come down.
Contact Jane Genova email@example.com.