If you block it, will they come? That’s a question Tim Armstong, the CEO of AOL, might be facing pretty soon. He told Bloomberg News that AOL and The Huffington Post might launch premium versions of content – in other words, the future of those sites might be found behind a paywall.
In an interview at the Cannes Lion media conference, Armstrong explained that asking readers to pay for some editorial work on the site is something worth exploring.
He said that AOL and HuffPo are “open in the future to strategies that will help create great content and monetize it properly,” and added “I think content subscriptions on the Internet can be a very viable business.” According to Bloomberg, Armstrong indicated that the first step to launching subscription-based content would probably involve AOL’s business-to-business sites, such as the one that provides news to the defense industry.
It’s certainly a smart idea to test this out with b-to-b sites, because we’re a little skeptical that people will be willing to pay for AOL or HuffPo content. Okay, a lot skeptical. Okay we don’t actually believe anybody will. There. We said it.