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Arianna Huffington: Subscriptions Are For Porn

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At D7 today, Kara Swisher sat down with Huffington Post’s Arianna Huffington and Washington Post’s Digital Chief Katharine Weymouth to discuss a topic that has been beaten to death: old vs. new media. Much of the interview was spent massaging each other’s egos, with each praising the other for the quality of their respective publication’s journalism.

But Huffington spiced things up when Swisher broached the issue of monetization. Huffington denied that HuffPo would ever consider subscriptions, saying “We absolutely never imagine subscriptions. Unless you’re selling porn, and especially “very weird porn”, you shouldn’t sell subscriptions.” Swisher cited a Penn Schoen & Berland survey that found that 5% of people would pay for blogs and 92% of people don’t pay for online content today.

Subscriptions for news are a controversial subject to say the least. Rupert Murdoch said recently that News Corp. would start charging for access to many of its newspaper’s websites, citing the success of News Corp.-owned Wall Street Journal’s subscription model. News Corp. owns and operates over 110 newspapers worldwide.

Today, GigaOm announced GigaOm Pro, a subscription service for research and analysis created by analysts. Content includes briefings, notes, long views written by editorial team, quarterly wrap-ups, weekly updates on news, and curated links.

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