ALL FOR ONE: On Friday morning Time Inc. Sports Group editor Terry McDonnell and President Mark Ford, introduced a new subscription option for Sports Illustrated. “One price, one subscription: you get it everywhere,” said McDonnell. For $48 a year, subscribers can access Sports Illustrated content across platforms, including in print and on the Web and Android tablets and smart phones. “I believe that we’re the first people to be doing that, and I think that that’s the model we’ll see going forward,” McDonnell continued. The company will soon eliminate the $38 print-only subscription option. The announcement comes just in time for the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition, which hits newsstands on Valentine’s Day Monday.
After a sit-down presentation, McDonnell picked up a Samsung Galaxy tablet and showed New York Post media reporter Keith Kelly video and images from the swimsuit issue. “That’s what Keith likes,” he said. It was the inaugural event in the Time Inc. “tech bar,” a mostly bare room on the second floor of the Time-Life Building with stark red walls, taupe carpet and black coffee tables and chairs.
McDonnell said without the new subscription option, Sports Illustrated was getting frustrated ratings and comments from subscribers who wanted to read the magazine on digital platforms. “They’re asked to download an issue for $4.99 when they’re already subscribers,” he said. “They’re like clicking one star and writing f–k you.”